Italy end Czechs' reign

  • Last Updated: April 22 2013, 15:24 BST

There will be no Fed Cup 'three-peat' for the Czech Republic after they were knocked out at the semi-final stage by Italy.

Roberta Vinci celebrates her victory over Safarova
Roberta Vinci celebrates her victory over Safarova

Roberta Vinci earned Italy their crucial third point in the tie with a three-set victory over Lucie Safarova on Monday to set up a final clash at home to Russia in November.

The tie had run into a third day after rain on Sunday had prevented a conclusion.

Italy won both singles on Saturday before Petra Kvitova gave the two-time defending champions hope with victory on Sunday before the rain came.

However, Safarova needed to win her reverse singles too to send the clash to a deciding doubles rubber and she fell just short.

Having led 2-0 in the final set, she was decisively broken in the eighth game of the decider as Vinci secured a 6-3 6-7(2/7) 6-3 victory.

Russia came from 2-0 down to beat Slovakia 3-2 in the other semi.

In Monday's other Fed Cup held over from the weekend, Australia beat Switzerland 3-1 to book their place in next year's World Group I, Sam Stosur leading the way with back-to-back singles wins.

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