Prague, Czech Republic – Lucie Safarova and Petra Kvitova won opening singles matches Saturday to give the Czech Republic a commanding 2-0 lead over visiting Serbia in the Fed Cup final.
Safarova was first on the court for the home nation and she came away with a 6-4, 6-3 victory over former world No. 1 Ana Ivanovic before Kvitova won nine straight games en route to a 6-4, 6-1 rout of Jelena Jankovic, another former top-ranked Serbian star.
Kvitova will have the first chance to give the Czechs a second straight Fed Cup title on Sunday. The 2011 Wimbledon champ will open reverse singles play in the best-of-five tie against Ivanovic before Safarova and Jankovic meet in the day's second scheduled singles match.
Should it come down to doubles in the fifth rubber, the Czechs will send out Andrea Hlavackova and Lucie Hradecka -- finalists at the U.S. Open and Olympics -- against a Serbian duo of Bojana Jovanovski and Aleksandra Krunic.
After a trade of early breaks in the first match, Safarova broke again for a 4-3 lead and held the rest of the way to claim the first set. She broke again to start the second set and closed out the match with another break to give the Czechs the first point of the weekend.
Jankovic then appeared to give the Serbs some life in the second match with a 4-2 lead in the opening set, but Kvitova turned it on from there. She won the final four games of the first set and the first five of the second before Jankovic got on the board again. Kvitova then closed it out for a 2-0 lead.
The Czech Republic beat Russia in last year's final in Moscow to secure its first championship since the former Czechoslovakia, a five-time Fed Cup champ, split in 1993.
This marks the first Fed Cup meeting between Serbia and the Czech Republic.