Czechs take commanding lead over Canada in Fed Cup

Quebec City, QC ( - Karolina Pliskova and Tereza Smitkova won singles matches Saturday to give the reigning champion Czech Republic a commanding advantage over Canada in the Fed Cup quarterfinals.

Pliskova notched the first point for the Czechs with a 6-2, 6-4 win over Francoise Abanda before Smitkova claimed a 6-1, 6-2 triumph over Gabriela Dabrowski for a 2-0 lead in the best-of-five tie.

Dabrowski and Pliskova are scheduled for the first reverse singles match Sunday, with Abanda and Smitkova to follow. The doubles matchup is slated to feature the Czech tandem of Lucie Hradecka and Denisa Allertova against Dabrowski and Sharon Fichman.

The Czechs are playing without world No. 4 Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova, while Canada is without seventh-ranked Wimbledon runner-up Genie Bouchard.

The Czechs are captained by Petr Pala, while the Canadians are led by Sylvain Bruneau.

The three-time champion Czech Republic beat Germany in last year's final to capture its third Fed Cup title in four years.

The Czechs are 2-0 all-time versus Canada and 5-0 if you include their results as the former Czechoslovakia.

The winner in Quebec City mill move on to face either France or Italy in April's semifinals.