Bratislava, Feb 9 : Slovakia's women's tennis team advanced to the Fed Cup Finals to be held in April in Budapest after triumphing over Britain 3-1 in the qualifiers at home in the National Tennis Center in Bratislava. With Slovakia carrying a 2-0 advantage from Friday, Anna Karolina Schmiedlova was the key player to decide the outcome of the joust against Britain, winning both her singles matches.
After defeating Heather Watson on Friday, she managed to overcome Harriet Dart 7-5, 6-3 on Saturday with great serving and a strong mental attitude. "It's very hard for me to describe what I'm feeling right now. The emotions are overwhelming. I am so happy to be able to help my team advance to the finals after many unsuccessful years in the Fed Cup team," said Schmiedlova after the decider.
Earlier on Saturday, Rebecca Sramkova was forced to step up for Slovakia in place of Viktoria Kuzmova whose sudden health problems kept her from playing. She botched the beginning of the match and failed to make up for it, losing 6-0, 7-5 in a very nervous performance, before Schmiedlova denied Britain's chance to force a deciding fifth match.
The Slovak team will find out the name of their opponent on Tuesday after the draw in Budapest. The 12 participating teams in the Finals will be divided into four groups of three with the winner of each group advancing to the semi-finals. (UNI-Xinhua)