(February 8, 2015) QUEBEC CITY – Karolina Pliskova beat Gabriela Dabrowski in two sets on the second day of the World Group first round tie between Czech Republic and Canada to give and insurmountable 3-0 lead to the visiting team. Top-ranked Czech Republic now reaches its 7th straight World Group semifinal against France, who came back from 0-2 to defeat Italy in the deciding doubles match.
Following their respective performances on Day One, No. 22 Pliskova came out as the heavy favorite against the 183rd-ranked Canadian; except from a few tense moments in the last game, the tall Czech was almost flawless against Abanda in the first match of the tie. Things looked different early on though, as Dabrowski stormed to a 4-1 lead. The Canadian, who likes to mix up her game with slices, spins and surprise visits to the net, seemed to keep Pliskova guessing, leading to numerous unforced errors from the Czech. With her superior power from the baseline and an increased focus, the Czech nevertheless managed to steady the ship to win five consecutive games and the set 6-4: ”I just tried to move my legs more and make less unforced errors,” she mentioned.
Pliskova never looked back in the second set, dominating Dabrowski from start to finish and reeling off 11 of the last 13 games of the match to win 6-4, 6-2 and get the third point for her team. In her first ever Fed Cup matches, the Czech was almost perfect, getting broken only twice and hitting over 50 winners in two matches.
Ranked No. 1 in the world and winner of three of the past four Fed Cup crowns, Czech Republic is the team to beat in this year’s event: ”We have so many players in the top 100, so many options compared to other teams, it makes it tough to beat us,” Pliskova concluded in her on-court interview. This resonated to the Canadian team, who was playing without their only top 100 singles player, No. 7 Eugenie Bouchard.
France, who miraculously got out of a 0-2 deficit against Italy, awaits Czech Republic for a spot in the finals. On the other hand, Canada will have to defend their World Group spot against either Switzerland, the United States, Romania or the Netherlands; the draw will be made in the upcoming weeks.
In the dead rubber doubles, Czechs Lucie Hradecka and Denisa Allertova defeated Canadians Françoise Abanda and Gabriela Dabrowski 6-1, 7-6.