Jennifer Capriati defeated Radka Zrubakova, 6-3, 6-1, and Mary Joe Fernandez outlasted Jana Novotna, 6-4, 0-6, 9-7, Saturday to lead the United States over Czechoslovakia and into the final of the Federation Cup at Nottingham, England, where it will meet top-seeded Spain today.
Zina Garrison and Gigi Fernandez completed a 3-0 sweep by beating Eva Sviglerova and Regina Rajchrtova, 6-2, 6-3, in doubles.
It will be the 20th time in 28 Federation Cup tournaments that the United States has been in the final. The Americans have won 14 times, twice as often as any other nation.
Singles victories by Conchita Martinez and Arantxa Sanchez Vicario led Spain to victory over Germany in the other semifinal. Martinez fell behind Barbara Rittner, 4-2, but won 10 of the last 11 games to win, 6-4, 6-1. Sanchez Vicario defeated Anke Huber, 6-1, 2-6, 6-2, to clinch the victory for Spain.
In the U.S. victory, Fernandez rallied from a 5-4 deficit in the final set, which had 19 service breaks. Fernandez lost her serve 10 times. Novotna was two points from winning several times but never held a match point.
The match, which lasted more than 2 1/4 hours, ended when Novotna hit a volley into the net and then double faulted on match point.
"Both of us were serving very badly, I don't know why," Novotna said. "It was more like a disadvantage to serve today."
Capriati needed only 48 minutes for her victory, in which she never lost her serve and broke Zrubakova's serve twice in each set.
Zrubakova tried to take advantage of Capriati's lack of speed by repeatedly hitting drop shots, and the strategy worked at first. But Capriati adjusted in the second set, anticipating the drop shots and returning them for winners.
It appeared that top-seeded Ivan Lendl and No. 2 Jim Courier would be meeting in the Canadian Open final at Montreal today, but Andrei Chesnokov of the Soviet Union and Petr Korda of Czechoslovakia had other ideas.
Chesnokov, seeded 12th, upset Lendl, 7-6 (7-4), 7-5, and Korda defeated French Open champion Courier, 3-6, 7-6 (7-1), 6-2.
Lendl had a 28-1 career record playing on the hardcourts of Jarry Stadium, where the Canadian Open is held every other year. He has won the event six of eight times he reached the final.
Lendl, who won a 3-hour 4-minute match against Jim Grabb on Friday night, seemed to play tentatively against Chesnokov. Lendl frequently displayed his agitation, both with himself and the chair umpire over line calls.
"I just had trouble opening up the court," Lendl said. "My game plan was to create chances and I didn't create them. I haven't been hitting the ball as well as I would like. I wasn't tired; I have no one to blame but myself."
Lendl broke Chesnokov in the 12th game of the first set for a tiebreaker but couldn't overcome the Soviet.
Trailing 6-5 in the second set, Lendl had two double faults in the decisive 12th game.
The unseeded Korda, ranked 40th in the world, said he would have rather faced Lendl in the final. "I was hungry to play Ivan because he's my idol," said Korda, who made a stirring comeback against Courier. "I was the ball boy for all of his Davis Cup matches, except for maybe one or two."
Lendl was born in Ostrava, Czechoslovakia, and lives in Greenwich, Conn.
Fourth-seeded Magnus Gustafsson of Sweden upset No. 2 Karel Novacek of Czechoslovakia, 7-6 (7-3), 6-3, to reach the final of the $250,000 Dutch Open at Hilversum. Jordi Arrese of Spain won the other semifinal, beating Mark Koevermans of the Netherlands, 6-3, 3-6, 6-4.