Defending champion Czechs edge Swiss to reach Fed Cup final
LUCERNE, Switzerland (AP) Two-time defending champion the Czech Republic advanced to the Fed Cup final after edging Switzerland 3-2 on Sunday, sealing victory in a decisive doubles rubber against Martina Hingis and unheralded Swiss star Viktorija Golubic.
The Czechs will play their fifth final in six seasons away to France in November. They have won the other four.
Switzerland appeared to have winning momentum after the 129th-ranked Golubic roused home fans in the Messe indoor arena with a second comeback victory in singles.
Golubic won 3-6, 7-6 (6), 6-1 against the 33rd-ranked Barbora Strycova to force a deciding rubber, then went straight back on court with top-ranked doubles player Hingis.
The Swiss pair soon faded in losing 6-2, 6-2 against Karolina Pliskova and Lucie Hradecka.
''She was the one on fire,'' Hingis said of her playing partner. ''We were banking on that, that she can keep it up. She can take only positives from this weekend.''
Earlier, the 18th-ranked Pliskova put the Czechs 2-1 ahead beating No. 17 Timea Bacsinszky 6-4, 6-2.
''It was sensational the way they played,'' Czech captain Petr Pala said of his team. ''The spirit is there, everybody wants to win the cup.''
Bacsinszky, the highest ranked player in the series, was well beaten in both her singles, winning only eight games.
Switzerland was seeking to reach its first final since 1998, when a then-teenage Hingis was its top singles player.