Tennis

Kvitova beats Kerber to send Czechs back into Fed Cup final

Germany's Julia Goerges returns a shot to Czech Republic's Karolina Pliskova during a match of the tennis Fed Cup semifinal between Germany and Czech Republic, in Stuttgart, Germany, Sunday, April 22, 2018. (Marijan Murat/dpa via AP)

STUTTGART, Germany (AP) Petra Kvitova defeated Angelique Kerber 6-2, 6-2 in under an hour to send the Czech Republic to the Fed Cup final with what proved to be a 4-1 win over Germany on Sunday.

After Kvitova won the deciding rubber to make it 3-1, Katerina Siniakova and Barbora Strycova also won the doubles match that they were leading 7-5 when Julia Goerges and Anna-Lena Groenefeld retired after 37 minutes.

It will be the Czechs' sixth final in eight years.

Kvitova didn't give Kerber, a two-time Grand Slam winner, a chance, hitting seven aces and converting five of the six break opportunities she created.

"I knew I had to start very strong today and continue that throughout the game. From the beginning of the match I knew I had all the weapons," Kvitova said.

After Germany failed to win a set on Saturday, Goerges had pulled the score back to 2-1 by defeating Karolina Pliskova 6-4, 6-2 earlier Sunday.

Goerges sealed the win in under an hour with her eighth ace, denying the Czechs an early path to the final on Nov. 10-11.

But Germany had never recovered from 2-0 down before, and the Czechs had never let a 2-0 lead slip. The 10-time champion Czechs have won five of the last seven Fed Cup championships and now have an 8-1 head-to-head record against their hosts.

Germany's wait for its first final appearance since 2014 continues.

Updated April 22, 2018

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