Czech Republic take 2-0 lead
Petra Kvitova and Lucie Safarova gave the Czech Republic a commanding 2-0 lead over Italy in their Fed Cup semi-final showdown in Ostrava.
Safarova defeated Francesca Schiavone 7-6 (7-3) 6-1 and Kvitova beat Sara Errani 6-4 6-3 in their opening singles matches to put the Czechs within one win of the final.
World number 23 Safarova saved three set points in the first set before cruising to victory in the second, breaking her 12th-ranked opponent twice and converting the first match point.
Wimbledon champion Kvitova took one hour and 21 minutes to overcome the 28th-ranked Errani, despite producing 30 unforced errors.
The world number three broke Errani on her first set point to go 1-0 up but double-faulted to drop her serve in the opening game of the second set.
But Kvitova came back in the sixth game and broke Errani again for a 5-3 lead before serving out the match.
The reverse singles and the doubles are scheduled to take place on Sunday.
The winner of the tie will play either Russia or Serbia in the Fed Cup final.