Barbora Strycova defeats Sofia Kenin to give Czech Republic early Fed Cup final lead against the United States
- Barbora Strycova beat Sofia Kenin in the opening match of the Fed Cup final
- The Czech Republic now take a 1-0 lead against the United States
- Strycova was playing her 20th tie after first appearing in the 2002 tournament
- Kenin, 19, took the first set but was unable to hold on against Strycova
Barbora Strycova beat Sofia Kenin in the opening match of the Fed Cup final in Prague on Saturday to give the Czech Republic a 1-0 lead against the United States, the defending champions.
Strycova, filling in for injured world number eight Karolina Pliskova, gave up the first set to the 19-year-old Kenin, who fought through early nerves in her first taste of Fed Cup action.
But the veteran Strycova, playing her 20th Fed Cup tie after first appearing in the tournament in 2002, showed her experience, breaking the young American’s serve seven times to hold on for a 6-7 6-1 6-4 victory.
Barbora Strycova beat Sofia Kenin in the opening match of the Fed Cup final
The victory gives the Czech Republic an early lead against defending champions United States
It was the ideal start for the Czechs, winners of five of the last seven Fed Cup titles, who are without two of their top players.
Yet they still remain heavy favourites against a U.S. team featuring three debutants, including Kenin, because their best players are all unavailable.