Strycova, Kenin to open Fed Cup final, Kvitova battling sickness
01:15, Nov 14, 2018
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Riske pushed the set to a tiebreak, where Siniakova took control.
United States captain Kathy Rinaldi has made a decision to bench 36th-ranked Danielle Collins and go with Riske, who was on the United States team that won the title past year.
Alison Riske will be the second singles player on court tomorrow for the United States of America in the Fed Cup final as her country looks to win back-to-back competitions for the first time since the turn of the millennium.
But after Karolina Pliskova pulled out of the Czech side through injury earlier this week, the hosts suffered another blow with Kvitova also sidelined, at least for Saturday's singles rubbers.
Things were slightly more straightforward for Siniakova in a 6-3 7-6 (7/2) win against Alison Riske, the only member of the USA team not making her debut.
They remain heavy favourites, even without their leading duo, against a U.S. team featuring three debutants, including Kenin. "I'm feeling a bit better". The US, whose head-to-head record against the Czechs is now 10-3, were missing Sloane Stephens, Serena Williams, Venus Williams and Madison Keys. Both players had their chances but it was Siniakova who played better in the deciding moments to bring the match home in straight sets and push the Czech Republic a win away from another Fed Cup crown.
"Actually, after the first point I was thinking, you know, you've played so many tie-breaks this year and you won nearly all".
Strycova carried the momentum into the third and withstood a late challenge from the American for a resilient victory - the first time in her distinguished Fed Cup career that she had fought back from a set down to win a singles rubber. "Katka kept the lead and suddenly she was facing two match points. When I was down, I was still fighting out there", said Kenin, who broke the top 100 in 2018 and ended the year ranked 48th.
Siniakova said: "I'm expecting a tough match". But Kenin then fought off two break balls and used a attractive drop shot to hold serve, starting a comeback.
In doubles, the last match of the final, Riske and Danielle Collins are scheduled to meet No. 1-ranked pair Barbora Krejcikova and Siniakova.
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