Czechs beat Russia 3-2 to lift Fed Cup

Czechs beat Russia 3-2 to lift Fed Cup

The pair came back from a breakdown in the first set to defeat Maria Kirilenko and Elena Vesnina 6-4, 6-2 at Moscow's indoor hardcourt Olympic Stadium.

The Czechs had last won in 1988, when they competed as Czechoslovakia.

The victory was made possible by World No. 2 Petra Kvitova, who recovered from her triumph in last week's season-ending WTA Championships in Istanbul to rout Kirilenko 6-2, 6-2 and battle past Svetlana Kuznetsova in three sets 4-6, 6-2, 6-3.

Russia's other singles successes came from Kuznetsova, who beat Lucie Safarova 6-3, 6-2, and Anna Pavlyuchenkova, who also defeated Safarova, 6-2, 6-4, squaring the tie for the deciding doubles rubber.

It consigned Russia to their first defeat in their last five final appearances.
Since 2004, Russia have beaten France twice, Italy and Spain to take the title.
Belgium were the last nation to overcome Russia in a final -- a 2-1 win in Madrid a decade ago.

The 26-year-old Kuznetsova tasted her first Fed Cup final defeat after contributing to 4-0 whitewashes against Spain in 2008 and Italy a year earlier and also a narrower 3-2 triumph over France in 2004.

Vesnina also played in the two latter wins. It was the closest Fed Cup final since Italy edged Belgium 3-2 in 2006.