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         === Safarova lifts Czechs to second straight Fed Cup title ===
 Prague, Czech Republic (Sports Network) - Lucie Safarova rolled to a straight-
 set win over Serbia's Jelena Jankovic on Sunday to give the Czech Republic its
 second straight Fed Cup title.
 The Czechs carried a commanding 2-0 lead in the best-of-five tie into Sunday's
 reverse  singles play,  but Ana Ivanovic kept Serbia's slim hopes alive with a
 6-3, 7-5 win over Petra Kvitova in the first match of the day.
 Safarova  then went out  and blasted Jankovic, 6-1, 6-1, in just 77 minutes to
 give the host nation  an insurmountable 3-1 lead.  It ended that way after the
 scheduled doubles match was not played.
 "Here  at home in this type of crowd, it's indescribable," said Safarova about
 earning the clinching point, "it's an amazing feeling."
 The star of the weekend was Safarova, who won both of her singles matches. She
 gave  the Czechs  their first  point  Saturday with  a 6-4,  6-3 victory  over
 Jankovic,  meanwhile,  had a tough  weekend for the  Serbs. She was thumped by
 Kvitova in the second opening singles match on Saturday, 6-4, 6-1.
 "It's  a difficult loss  because it's not only my loss, but it's a team loss,"
 said  Jankovic, who indicated that she played the weekend with an injured back
 and  said it got worse as she went along. "It's never easy to lose in a final.
 We all wanted to win."
 Kvitova,  the 2011  Wimbledon champ,  had the  first opportunity  to give  the
 Czechs the title, but Ivanovic had other ideas.
 The former French Open champ broke serve for a 3-2 lead in the opening set and
 nearly  squandered another  break chance in the ninth game. Kvitova saved five
 set points before Ivanovic finally converted on the sixth.
 Kvitova  saved  a pair of  break points  in the fourth  game of the second set
 before Ivanovic converted the third for a 3-1 lead. She was unable to hold the
 advantage  while  serving for the match  at 5-3, as Kvitova broke and followed
 with an easy hold to level the set.
 Ivanovic,  though,  regrouped and  held at  love for  6-5, then quickly gained
 three  match  points in  the  next  game. She  needed  all  three and  finally
 prevailed with a forehand winner to keep the Serbs alive.
 "To give a whole point to our team was just amazing," said Ivanovic. "It was a
 really  good quality match.  I knew I was going to play better today because I
 got that experience yesterday."
 The momentum she provided did not last long.
 Safarova  broke  serve to start  the second match and  added a second break en
 route  to  a quick 4-0 lead.  After Jankovic finally  held in the next game --
 saving  another break point  in the process -- Safarova won the next two games
 to capture the opening set.
 Jankovic  sent a forehand  long to give Safarova a break for a 3-1 lead in the
 second  set and  the Serb never recovered.  Safarova won the next two games at
 love  and opened a 40-0 lead in the final game before Jankovic saved one match
 point. A forehand winner down the line on the second match point gave Safarova
 and the Czechs the crown.
 The  Czech Republic won  its first Fed Cup title as an independent nation last
 year,  beating Russia  in the final. The former Czechoslovakia, which split in
 1993, won five Fed Cup championships.
 11/05 10:48:39 ET

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