Czechs charge to a 2-0 lead in Stuttgart

A pair of outstanding performances by Petra Kvitova and Karolina Pliskova have given Czech Republic a commanding 2-0 lead over Germany in their Fed Cup by BNP Paribas semifinal in Stuttgart.

Both Kvitova and Pliskova played top-flight tennis, not dropping a set in four total played against Julia Goerges and Angelique Kerber, respectively.

Kvitova won 63 62 while Pliskova was triumphant 75 63. It was a first win for Pliskova over the two-time major winner in four outings, dating back to summer 2016.

“No one expected this,” Pliskova said on court after her win.

No one, indeed. “We will have to gather tonight,” captain Jens Gerlach says about the German squad who¬†will now have to dig itself out of a 0-2 hole on Sunday. And history is against them: The Czech team has a 7-1 head-to-head lead against the Germans.

Czech Republic is looking for its first title since 2016, having won five out of the last seven Fed Cup championships. Germany has not won since 1992.

On Sunday, the rubbers will flip, with Pliskova taking on Goerges and then Kvitova meeting Kerber. Should the Germans force a deciding fifth match, it is scheduled to be Anna-Lena Groenefeld and Tatjana Maria for Germany against Katerina Siniakova and Barbora Strycova, barring substitutions.