» Sports » Fed Cup: France beat Dutch to set up final with Czechs

Fed Cup: France beat Dutch to set up final with Czechs

April 18, 2016 10:31 IST

Netherlands' dream run in the Fed Cup ended agonisingly short of the final when they lost the deciding doubles rubber of a thrilling semi-final against France in Trelaze.

Kristina Mladenovic of France When Kiki Bertens beat Kristina Mladenovic to put the Dutch 2-1 ahead on Sunday the visitors had one foot in the final but Caroline Garcia levelled it up by beating 257th-ranked Arantxa Rus in straight sets.

Mladenovic and Garcia then teamed up to beat Bertens and Richel Hogenkamp, coming from a set down to win 4-6, 6-3, 6-3 in a nail-biting climax to the weekend.

France have reached their first final since 2005 where they will be up against the Czech Republic, who also needed a final doubles rubber to win in Switzerland.

The Netherlands were unbeaten since 2013 despite a team full of lower-ranked players, beating Australia last year to reach the World Group and stunning Russia in the first round.

Karolina Pliskova and Lucie Hradecka booked the Czech Republic's place in a fifth Fed Cup final when they beat Swiss duo Martina Hingis and Viktorija Golubic 6-2 6-2.

Golubic, ranked 129 in the world, had kept the Swiss in the hunt with two singles wins.

Four-times champions Italy were relegated from the World Group for the first time in 18 years after losing 4-0 in a playoff with Spain who return to the elite after a two-year absence.

Belarus caused an upset by beating Russia 3-1 in their World Group playoff, meaning the Russians are also relegated from the top group for the first time in 18 years.

Image: Kristina Mladenovic of France

Photograph: Zak Kaczmarek/Getty Images

Source: source
© Copyright 2019 Reuters Limited. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of Reuters content, including by framing or similar means, is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of Reuters. Reuters shall not be liable for any errors or delays in the content, or for any actions taken in reliance thereon.