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USA vs Czech Republic Fed Cup semi-finals news, matches and results: USA and Czech Republic all square at 1-1 after Day 1

Andrew Hendrie in Fed Cup 23 Apr 2017
  • USA host Czech Republic in the 2017 Fed Cup semi-finals in Florida
  • Czech Republic have only lost one tie since 2011
  • USA aiming for first final since 2010
  • Watch and bet on Fed Cup tennis live from Florida at bet365 > sports > live streaming tennis
Bethanie Mattek-Sands and Coco Vandeweghe of the USA (Photo by Bradley Kanaris/Getty Images)

Czech Republic continue on their quest for a fourth consecutive Fed Cup title when they take on the United States in the semi-finals in Florida this upcoming weekend, 22-23 April, 2017.

Watch and bet on USA vs Czech Republic live Fed Cup tennis from Florida at bet365 > sports > live streaming tennis.

The two most successful nations in Fed Cup history collide this weekend on the outdoor clay courts of the Saddlebrook Resort in Florida as the United States and Czech Republic battle for a place in the 2017 final.

Czech Republic are modern-day Fed Cup juggernauts, winning the last three competitions and only losing one tie since 2011, while the USA are traditional powerhouses - having claimed the silverware on 17 occasions - and are determined to return to what would be a first final since 2010.

World No. 3 Karolina Pliskova is missing in a big blow for the reigning champions, but her twin sister Kristyna remains, alongside Katerina Siniakova, Denisa Allertova and recent WTA Biel champion, teenage sensation Marketa Vondrousova.

USA will field a more experienced line-up consisting of Australian Open semi-finalist CoCo Vandeweghe, last year’s French Open quarter-finalist Shelby Rogers, the ever-improving Lauren Davis and veteran doubles specialist Bethanie Mattek-Sands.

Unbeaten in the last four years, can Czech Republic advance to yet another Fed Cup final? Or can the USA register the upset and earn the right to battle for a first Fed Cup title since 2000? It promises to be a thrilling Fed Cup semi-final in Florida this weekend!

United States vs Czech Republic Fed Cup match schedule

USA vs Czech Republic Fed Cup semi-final schedule

Date - TimeEvent Name Location
23 Apr 2017 16:00Singles rubbers 3 & 4 + doubles

Rubber 3: CoCo Vandeweghe (USA) vs Katerina Siniakova (CZE), Sunday April 23, 11.00am local/4.00pm BST

Both CoCo Vandeweghe and Katerina Siniakova were extremely impressive in their respective victories on Day 1, and now the leading players from both nations battle to give their country the advantage heading into the fourth rubber.

Vandeweghe has struggled since making the Australian Open semi-finals in January - in fact, she hasn’t won a WTA match since - but she loves playing for her country and she was clinical in dispatching Marketa Vondrousova, in addition to her two victories for USA in February over Germany’s Andrea Petkovic and Julia Goerges.

Siniakova brings similar form into this crucial showdown. The rising 20-year-old started 2017 with a bang, capturing her first WTA title in Shenzhen, but she’s only back-to-back matches once since then.

Coco Vandeweghe (Photo by RHONA WISE/AFP/Getty Images)

Nevertheless, Siniakova seems to be embracing the added pressure of being her nation’s No. 1 in this tie in the absence of Karolina Pliskova, Petra Kvitova, Barbora Strycova and Lucie Safarova, and she will be buoyed by her tremendous showing against Shelby Rogers.

Vandeweghe and Siniakova have never played before, but both are similar players who will look to dictate with first-strike tennis and gain the initial ascendancy in rallies. Siniakova showed she can deal with pressure in her opening win, but Vandeweghe is a different prospect if she plays her best tennis - which is what she’s been doing lately for her country.

Rubber 4: Shelby Rogers (USA) vs Marketa Vondrousova (CZE), Sunday April 23, 12.30pm local/5.30pm BST

Boom teenager Marketa Vondrousova was a somewhat surprise selection for the opening rubber against CoCo Vandeweghe, and it remains to be seen whether captain Petr Pala will stick with the 17-year-old or perhaps substitute her for Kristyna Pliskova - the big-serving twin sister of World No. 3 Karolina, who is obviously absent from this tie.

Vondrousova was okay against Vandeweghe, but the American was a class above throughout, while the youngster surely had to be feeling the pressure of leading the three-time champions into battle on away turf. With the tie potentially on the line, will Pala risk sending the teenager out again?

Shelby Rogers meanwhile has a point to prove. Last year’s Roland Garros quarter-finalist was well-placed to hand USA a commanding 2-0 lead, but she was never really in the contest against Katerina Siniakova, and she will be determined to produce an improved display in this pivotal fourth rubber.

Marketa Vondrousova (Photo by RHONA WISE/AFP/Getty Images)

Rogers brought solid form into the Fed Cup semi-finals, making the third round of Miami (losing to Angelique Kerber) and reaching the quarterfinals on the green clay of Charleston, beating compatriot Madison Keys - who isn’t playing this tie - along the way.

Vondrousova was obviously in magical form coming into this tie, sensationally winning her maiden WTA title as a qualifier in Biel, but if she is indeed retained, this will be an extremely difficult match for her to win with all the pressure and still being new to the whole Fed Cup environment.

USA are definitely in the box seat heading into Day 2.

Rubber 5: Bethanie Mattek-Sands/Lauren Davis (USA) vs Denisa Allertova/Kristyna Pliskova (CZE), Sunday April 23, 2.00pm local/7.00pm BST

Should this tie come down to a decisive doubles clash, USA may hold the upper hand in the form of veteran doubles specialist Bethanie Mattek-Sands.

Mattek-Sands is currently ranked World No. 1 in doubles and has won four grand slam doubles titles, along with a gold medal in mixed doubles at last year’s Rio Olympics.

Denisa Allertova and Kristyna Pliskova have big serves in their locker, but they haven’t really played too much doubles in their careers, while Pliskova has never played doubles in Fed Cup.

Latest United States vs Czech Republic Fed Cup results

USA 1-1 Czech Republic

Three-time defending champions Czech Republic and traditional powerhouses USA are delicately poised at 1-1 in their semi-final clash in Florida after Day 1.

Australian Open semi-finalist CoCo Vandeweghe got the hosts off to a perfect start on Saturday with a dominant 6-1 6-4 victory over 17-year-old Czech sensation Marketa Vondrousova.

Vandeweghe has now won seven consecutive Fed Cup matches for USA dating back to a first round doubles clash against Argentina in 2015 - four in singles and three in doubles.

“I think that number just states how much it means to me to play for my country, even if it is a detriment to WTA singles,” Vandeweghe said.
“It’s important to me. I want to play. I’ll continue to keep playing as long as I’m called upon. I think more people should take that as a priority because Fed Cup is such a great atmosphere, such a great kick-starter to a career.”

Knowing the understrength Czech Republic could ill-afford to go down 2-0, Katerina Siniakova stepped up and delivered a superb performance as her nation’s No. 1 ranked player, taking down last year’s French Open quarter-finalist Shelby Rogers 6-3 6-3.

Katerina Siniakova (Photo by RHONA WISE/AFP/Getty Images)

Siniakova was never really troubled throughout the contest, with Rogers double faulting on match point to hand Czech Republic the tie and level proceedings at 1-1.

“We came here to get three points no matter who wins the first match. I’m very proud of Katerina performance being 1-0 down and playing her first live [Fed Cup] match, and she played very well from the beginning to the end,” Czech captain Petr Pala said.

The teams

Team USA

CoCo Vandeweghe, Lauren Davis, Shelby Rogers, Bethanie Mattek-Sands, Kathy Rinaldi-Stunkel (captain)

Team Czech Republic

Katerina Siniakova, Kristyna Pliskova, Denisa Allertova, Marketa Vondrousova, Petr Pala (captain)

A significantly weakened Czech Republic team will attempt to propel the three-time defending champions into yet another Fed Cup final in Florida against the USA. Karolina Pliskova, Petra Kvitova, Barbora Strycova and Lucie Safarova are all missing, meaning 20-year-old Katerina Siniakova - the current World No. 38 and Shenzhen champion - will spearhead the side.

Karolina’s twin sister Kristyna Pliskova has been steadily climbing up the rankings over the last six months or so and if her game is firing, she’s a formidable force on her day. Denisa Allertova is a solid player, but the wildcard could come in the form of 17-year-old Marketa Vondrousova, who is full of confidence after coming through qualifying in Biel to win her maiden WTA title. Winning eight consecutive matches in just your second WTA main draw to win your first title is a remarkable achievement, so don’t be surprised if Vondrousova is thrown into the deep end this weekend.

Meanwhile, USA’s No. 1 CoCo Vandeweghe has been in poor form since making her first grand slam semi-final at the Australian Open, where she demolished Angelique Kerber and Garbine Muguruza en route. However Vandeweghe hasn’t won a tour-level match since January - although she did win both her singles matches for USA in their World Group win over Germany in Hawaii in February.

Vandeweghe will be supported by Lauren Davis, who has enjoyed a career-best start to a season with a title in Auckland and back-to-back quarter-final finishes in Doha and Dubai during the fortnight-long Middle East swing in February. Rogers will also be a dangerous figure after making her breakthrough on clay by reaching the Roland Garros quarter-finals last year.

Fed Cup format

Fed Cup ties are played over the best of five rubbers over two days. Two singles rubbers are played on Saturday, followed by the reverse singles rubbers on Sunday with the tie going to a deciding doubles rubber if necessary.

Player nominations can be changed up until an hour before the start of play.

One nation hosts the tie, with the choice of ground decided by where the two competing teams played last time. United States host Czech Republic on the outdoor clay courts of the Saddlebrook Resort in Florida. 

The winner of United States vs Czech Republic will go on to face either Belarus or Switzerland in the 2017 Fed Cup final in November.

United States vs Czech Republic: The history

Head to Head: United States lead 9-2

USA have dominated their previous Fed Cup clashes with Czech Republic, leading 9-2 and winning their last seven showdowns dating back to 1985.

However it must be said that the two nations haven’t met since Czech Republic became the dominant forces they are today, with their last contest coming back in 2009 - also a semi-final. Bethanie Mattek-Sands was the only player from this upcoming tie competing back then - and her presence proved pivotal as she teamed with Liezel Huber to win the live doubles rubber to hand USA a 3-2 victory. USA would ultimately fall to Italy in the final.

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USA vs Czech Republic Fed Cup semi-finals news, matches and results: USA and Czech Republic all square at 1-1 after Day 1

Czech Republic continue on their quest for a fourth consecutive Fed Cup title when they take on the United States in the semi-finals in Florida this upcoming weekend, 22-23 April, 2017.

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