Jubilant Czechs clinch 'amazing' Fed Cup title defense
updated 3:30 PM EST, Sun November 4, 2012
Czech Fed Cup members (from left) Lucie Hradecka, Andrea Hlavackova, Petra Kvitova and Lucie Safarova celebrate Sunday's victory on their home courts in Prague.
- Czech Republic women's team wins Fed Cup final for second successive year
- Lucie Safarova clinches an unassailable 3-1 lead with win over Ana Ivanovic
- The former Czechoslovakia won the title five times up until 1988
- David Ferrer wins his first ATP Masters title with Sunday's victory in Paris final
(CNN) -- Czech tennis fans are enjoying an uplift in fortunes not seen since before the Velvet Revolution more than 30 years ago.
The Czech Republic's women's team lifted the Fed Cup title for the second year in a row on Sunday -- echoing the achievements of the all-conquering Czechoslovakia team led by Martina Navratilova in the 1980s.
Lucie Safarova clinched the winning point against Serbia to spark joyous scenes in Prague, beating former world No. 1 Jelena Jankovic 6-1 6-1 to establish an unassailable 3-1 lead in the final.
"Here at home in this type of crowd, it's indescribable, it's an amazing feeling," said Safarova, ranked 17th in the world.
"There are so many emotions and happiness -- and that is the feeling we are practicing for every day, even if you're not in the mood to work."
Fed Cup fever hits Prague
Ana Ivanovic will face Lucie Safarova in the opening rubber of the 2012 Fed Cup. The Czech holds a 3-2 lead over Ivanovic and recently defeated her in Sydney. Ivanovic said: "It's going to be a tough match -- I had a tough loss against her in Sydney so hopefully I can play better and get revenge."
Women ready for Fed Cup battle
Williams sisters show off dancing skills
Serena Williams: 'I'm in awe' of Venus
Andy Murray gets his hands on a grand slam trophy at last as he beats Novak Djokovic of Serbia to win the 2012 U.S. Open at Flushing Meadows.
Murray joins the grand slam club
The Czechs had led 2-0 after Saturday's opening rubbers, but the Serbs stayed in the match when Ana Ivanovic -- another former No. 1 -- defeated last year's Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova 6-3 7-5.
"I didn't have a lot of energy and it was obvious on the court," said Kvitova, who won her opening match against Jankovic despite an illness which ended her title defense at last month's WTA Championships in Istanbul.
"I tried to play only for a few shots, I couldn't play for longer, and that's why I started to have mistakes."
The Czechs became the third successive nation to defend the title following Italy (2009-10) and Russia (2007-08).
Counting the five won by the old Czechoslovakia up until 1988, it matched the seven held by Australia -- second overall, but 10 shy of the United States.
Last year's victory was the first since the split with Slovakia in 1993.
Meanwhile, David Ferrer lifted his first ATP Masters title after ending the giant-killing run of Jerzy Janowicz in Sunday's Paris final.
The fifth-ranked Spaniard won 6-4 6-3 to become the first player outside the world's top four to win a Masters 1000 tournament since Robin Soderling in the same event two years ago.
Poland's 69th-ranked Janowicz had earlier upset world No. 3 Andy Murray and No. 9 Janko Tipsarevic on his way to his first Masters final.
It was Ferrer's seventh title this season -- the most by any men's player -- and sets him up for the season-ending ATP World Tour Finals starting in London on Monday.
He will be in action in Tuesday's evening session against Argentina's Juan Martin del Potro, after defending champion Roger Federer plays Tipsarevic in the opening Group B tie.
Olympic and U.S. Open champion Murray will launch the tournament on Monday against sixth-ranked Czech Tomas Berdych.
Novak Djokovic, whose return to world No. 1 will be confirmed on Monday, will then face France's Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in another Group A clash.
Part of complete coverage on
updated 7:29 AM EDT, Wed May 1, 2013
She towers above him, but she can't do without him. Meet the man who has made Maria Sharapova the world's wealthiest female athlete.
updated 11:11 AM EDT, Mon April 22, 2013
When Maria Sharapova underwent shoulder surgery five years ago, many thought her tennis career wouldn't last.
updated 8:58 AM EDT, Thu April 18, 2013
Nine-year-old Rebecca Suarez stunned onlookers when she was pulled out of the crowd to team up with Del Potro against Nadal.
updated 5:15 PM EDT, Thu April 18, 2013
Janko Tipsarevic is of the belief that his fellow professionals aren't doping -- or at least not on a widespread basis.
updated 10:29 AM EDT, Thu March 21, 2013
Agnieszka and Urszula Radwanska are hoping to take their relationship to a new level by emulating tennis' most famous sisters.
updated 9:24 AM EDT, Tue March 26, 2013
Open Court meets Poland's world No. 4 Agniezska Radwanska, who's making waves on the women's tennis scene.
updated 10:02 AM EDT, Thu March 21, 2013
America's 18-time grand slam champion Chris Evert talks to Open Court about her career and training the next generation of players.
updated 9:44 AM EDT, Thu March 21, 2013
CNN's Don Riddell speaks with 11-time grand slam champion Rafael Nadal during one of his comeback tournaments in Mexico.
updated 10:11 AM EDT, Thu March 21, 2013
Germany's veteran star Tommy Haas opens up to Pat Cash about being away from family on tour, and his many injuries.
updated 7:50 AM EDT, Mon March 11, 2013
You'd think John Isner and Nicolas Mahut would be sick of the sight of each other, but their friendship has grown since that epic match.
updated 11:08 AM EST, Mon March 4, 2013
Almost a decade after Andy Roddick's sole U.S. Open victory, America is still waiting for its next male grand slam winner. What's gone wrong?
updated 11:21 AM EST, Thu February 21, 2013
Open Court's Pat Cash meets American No. 1 John Isner, who experts claim has the potential to win a grand slam.
updated 4:17 AM EST, Mon February 25, 2013
CNN's Pat Cash looks at who the next U.S. grand slam champion might be.
updated 10:45 AM EST, Thu February 21, 2013
CNN's Patrick Snell looks at how the famous couple is helping groom the next generation of tennis stars.
updated 5:09 AM EST, Mon February 25, 2013
With his sights set on the top, Ryan Harrison is the youngest player to win a professional match in 20 years.
updated 11:12 AM EST, Thu February 21, 2013
He's "Mac the Mouth" both on and off the court -- one of the most controversial and iconic players in tennis history, and he's still talking up a storm.
updated 6:31 AM EST, Tue January 29, 2013
Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray have transformed their careers since discovering a diet secret that is battling for mainstream acceptance.
updated 10:00 AM EST, Mon January 28, 2013
Novak Djokovic knew he was going to be a tennis star from an early age when growing up in war-torn Belgrade.
updated 8:25 AM EST, Thu January 17, 2013
Nine women, a bold proposal and a $1 bill. That was what it took for women's tennis to begin a 40-year journey of self-empowerment.