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By Adrianna Outlaw | Sunday, April 22, 2018

The Fed Cup final will be a clash of champions.

Reigning champion United States will travel to face 10-time champion Czech Republic in the November 10-11th final after both Fed Cup superpowers wrapped up semifinal victories today.

Watch: Davis Cup Debate

Madison Keys conquered Pauline Parmentier, 7-6 (4), 6-4, sealing the United States 3-2 semifinal victory over host France on the red clay of Arena Du Pays D'Aix, Aix-en-Provence, France.



"I was really nervous—I wanted to be the one who got that winning point," Keys told FedCup.com's Kate Battersby immediately after the victory. "I was so sad I couldn’t play in the final last year because of my wrist injury.

"Fed Cup is special. It captures the extremes of the highs and lows of tennis. It takes me days to recover from a Fed Cup loss, whereas with a normal match within a day you’re bouncing back, but the wins are incredible. Hopefully we can ride this high for a little while, having the excitement of knowing that later in the year we’ll be playing in the final."

US Open champion Sloane Stephens opened today's play crushing Kristina Mladenovic, 6-2, 6-0.



Stephens won 16 of 26 points played on Mladenovic's first serve and converted five of six break points in a 54-minute thrashing that put the Americans up 2-1 setting the stage for Keys' clincher.

In the dead doubles rubber, Mladenovic and Amandine Hesse defeated CoCo Vandeweghe and Bethanie Mattek-Sands, 6-4, 3-6, 10-6.

Earlier today, Petra Kvitova clinched the Czech Republic's sixth trip to the Fed Cup final in the last eight years with a 6-2, 6-2, sweep of former world No. 1 Angelique Kerber on the red clay of Stuttgart.

German No. 1 Julia Goerges pumped eight aces and won 24 of 26 first-serve points pounding out a 6-4, 6-2, victory over Karolina Pliskova in today's opening match, cutting the Czech lead to 2-1 in the best-of-five match semifinal.

Fans from both nations roared support creating an intense atmosphere.



Kvitova has often played her most proactive tennis in Fed Cup competition.

The two-time Wimbledon winner delivered again today.

In a battle of Grand Slam champions, Kvitova cranked seven aces and faced just one break point defeating Kerber for the sixth time in 11 meetings to give the Czech side an insurmountable lead.

Kvitova raised her Fed Cup singles record to 30-11.

It was their third meeting on the red clay of the Porsche Arena—Kvitova won their first meeting in the 2012 Stuttgart quarters, Kerber prevailed in the 2016 Stuttgart semifinals—and the pair will square off again in the opening round of next week's Porsche Tennis Grand Prix.

Barbora Strycova and Katerina Siniakova won the dead doubles rubber wrapping a 4-1 victory that was the Czech Republic's eighth triumph in nine meetings with Germany.

The final pits 18-time Fed Cup champion United States against the 10-time champion Czech Republic, the second most successful nation in Fed Cup history, in a rematch of the 2017 final.

A year ago, CoCo Vandeweghe delivered all three points, including partnering Mattek-Sands to a decisive doubles win, in the Americans' 3-2 triumph over a depleted Czech Republic squad on the Har-Tru clay of Saddlebrook.

The Czech Republic played that semifinal without star singles standouts Kvitova and Karolina Pliskova. If both nations are at full strength, the November final could be an epic.  

 

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