Fed Cup goes down to the wire!

Karolina Pliskova (AFP Photo)
Karolina Pliskova (AFP Photo)

Prague - Karolina Pliskova kept the Czech Republic's hopes of defending the Fed Cup title alive, beating Russia's Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova in straight sets to level the tie 2-2 in Sunday's final.

Pliskova, the world number 11, saw off 28th-ranked Pavlyuchenkova 6-3, 6-4 at Prague's hardcourt O2 Arena after Maria Sharapova, the world number four, earlier came back from a set down to edge sixth-ranked Petra Kvitova 3-6, 6-4, 6-2.

Pliskova and Barbora Strycova will now play against Pavlyuchenkova and Elena Vesnina in the decisive doubles rubber.

The hard-hitting Pliskova, 23, took the first set with a single break, capitalising on aggressive play against defensive 24-year-old Pavlyuchenkova.

Both traded breaks in the opening games of set two and Pliskova then struck again in game nine to send the home crowd into a frenzy.

"It's definitely one of the biggest wins in my career," beamed Pliskova. "I was trying to focus on my serve and it was working today so I'm really happy for that."

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