Safarova defeats Ana in Fed Cup Final

Safarova defeats Ana in Fed Cup Final

Ana suffered a disappointing 6-4, 6-3 defeat to world No.17 Lucie Safarova in the first rubber of the Fed Cup Final in Prague. The Czech Republic now have a 1-0 lead going into this afternoon’s other rubber between Petra Kvitova and Jelena Jankovic.

It was a day when nothing clicked for the Serbian No.1, whereas her opponent was on fire. Safarova seemed full of confidence, thanks to the backing of a home crowd and her 3-2 lead in the head-to-head series, as she came out on top in one hour and 41 minutes.

Ana wanted to attack the Czech’s second serve and unleash her menacing forehand as often as possible. She began brightly by holding her serve and putting Safarova under real pressure in her first service game. However, the Czech earned the first break of the match to take a 2-1 lead.

Safarova was pinning Ana behind the baseline with the depth of her shots and was targeting the backhand side to prevent the former world No.1 from dominating with her forehand, which was forcing Ana to commit unforced errors.

Ana showed her fighting spirit and determination by breaking back straight away, but Safarova earned another break to take a 4-3 advantage and managed to hold off Ana in her next two service games to take the first set.

Ana was becoming visibly frustrated by her unforced errors. Her trusted forehand failed to hit lines with regularity as it usually does, and Safarova’s forehand, which is difficult to read, was beginning to dominate proceedings.

The Czech broke Ana’s serve once again at the start of the second set and whilst Ana never gave up and put significant pressure on Safarova’s serve, most notably at 4-3, the world No.17 broke in the final game of the match to secure the second set 6-3.

Ana will not have to wait long to try to make amends as she is scheduled to face Petra Kvitova, the current world No.8, in the third rubber of the tie tomorrow.

By Jonathan Campkin