The Czech Republic needed the fifth and deciding doubles rubber to defeat France over the weekend in Strasbourg, securing a fifth Fed Cup title over the last six years.
France’s Caroline Garcia recorded singles wins over Petra Kvitova on Saturday and Karolina Pliskova on Sunday, but in the doubles decider she and Kristina Mladenovic lost to Pliskova and Barbora Strycova 7-5, 7-5.
Kvitova is the lone player who has been on the Czech squad for all five wins in the last six years.
The US Open singles finalist Pliskova and Strycova teamed to win the final decisive doubles rubber for the second straight year.
“[It was] one of the best trophies I am going to win,” Pliskova said.
Petr Pala said he went into the weekend feeling that the dominant Czech weren’t the favorites, and ended the weekend the same way.
“[France] put a stunning performance,” he said. “I don’t think we were favorites for the doubles, but you never know what you’re going to get in team competitions. That was some weekend of tennis.”
After Garcia put France up 2-1 following back-to-back singles wins, Strycova forced the deciding doubles by beating France’s Alize Cornet 6-2, 7-6(4).
The French were left still searching for a first Fed Cup title since 2003.
“It’s a big disappointment for me, for the girls, for the team,” said French captain Amelie Mauresmo, “but tomorrow it might be easier to reflect a little bit and take a step back and see what this team has achieved over the past three to four years.”
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