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Czechs face France in FedCup final

Czech tennis players Karolina Pliskova (L) and Lucie Hradeck celebrate after defeating Switzerland on April 17, 2016
AFP

Paris (AFP) – Karolina Pliskova and Lucie Hradecka secured the Czech Republic a fifth Fed Cup final appearance in six years with victory in the deciding doubles against Switzerland on Sunday.

Waiting for the defending champions in the November 12-13 final will be France, who edged the Netherlands in their semi-final in Trelaze.

The semi-final in Lucerne, level at 1-1 overnight, went down to the wire after Pliskova’s comfortable win over Timea Bacsinszky before a stunning comeback from Viktorija Golubic against Barbora Strycova.

But Switzerland’s dream of making their first final since 1998 was ended when Pliskova and Hradecka despatched Golubic and Martina Hingis 6-2, 6-2 to take the tie 3-2.

France, all square with the Dutch at 1-1 after Saturday’s singles, progressed in similar fashion to make their first finals since 2005.

Skippered by Amelie Mauresmo the French went into the tie on claycourt against surprise semi-finalists the Netherlands as clear favourites.

But the Dutch took a 2-1 lead courtesy of Kiki Bertens’ 7-5, 6-4 win over Kristina Mladenovic in Sunday’s opening match.

Caroline Garcia defeated Arantxa Rus 6-3, 6-4 to get the hosts back level, and then Garcia teamed up with Kristina Maldenovic in the concluding doubles against Bertens and Richel Hogenkamp to clinch the tie 4-6, 6-3, 6-3.

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