Czechs grab Fed Cup lead over rival Slovaks

Sports Network

, Last Updated: 2:23 PM ET

Bratislava, Slovak Republic - Lucie Safarova and Petra Kvitova won singles matches to give the Czech Republic a 2-0 lead over the Slovak Republic in the Fed Cup quarterfinals.

Safarova kicked of Saturday's action with a 7-5, 6-1 victory over Daniela Hantuchova before Kvitova made it a clean sweep of the opening singles with a 6-2, 6-3 thumping of Dominika Cibulkova.

The Czechs need only one more victory in Sunday's reverse singles or the doubles rubber to advance to the semifinals for the third straight year.

There wasn't much drama in the matchup of neighboring nations who once competed as Czechoslovakia.

Safarova broke serve four times and didn't even face a break point during her easy dismissal of Hantuchova in just 89 minutes.

Kvitova, a quarterfinalist at the Australian Open and winner of the tuneup tournament in Brisbane, also broke serve four times and saved the two break points against her serve in the 79-minute dismantling of Cibulkova.

The 18th-ranked Kvitova will have the first opportunity to clinch the tie for the Czechs on Sunday against Hantuchova, a former top 10 player now ranked 32nd.

Safarova and Cibulkova will meet in the fourth rubber, while the doubles match is slated to feature Kveta Peschke and Barbora Zahlavova Strycova for the Czechs against the hosts tandem of Hantuchova and Magdalena Rybarikova.

The Czechs have won all three previous meetings in Fed Cup play since Czechoslovakia split. Led by the legendary Martina Navratilova, Czechoslovakia won five Fed Cup titles, but neither the Czech Republic nor Slovak Republic has won the championship since becoming separate nations.


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