Kvitova to lead Czechs in Fed Cup finals


World number six Petra Kvitova will lead holders the Czech Republic in the Fed Cup final against Serbia in Prague on November 3-4, the Czech team captain said Wednesday.
Kvitova, last year’s Wimbledon champion, will team up with world number 17 Lucie Safarova for the tie, captain Petr Pala told reporters. Pala has also named Andrea Hlavackova and Lucie Hradecka, world numbers 3 and 4 in doubles, who played the Wimbledon and US Open finals and won Olympic silver this year.
“The nomination is never easy, but I can say it was easier this time,” Pala said. But he may have a few things to ponder as within minutes of the nomination, Kvitova pulled out of the WTA Championships in Istanbul with bronchitis. “I’m a fighter and I’ve always wanted to play but I really don’t feel well. That’s why I’m flying home, also with eyes on the Fed Cup finals,” Kvitova told the CTK news agency. “I absolutely don’t expect to miss the Fed Cup finals,” she added. Defending the WTA Championships title, Kvitova lost in straight sets to Poland’s Agnieszka Radwanska in straight sets in Istanbul on Tuesday. Pala said he believed Kvitova would also regain her old form after a recent losing streak. “She always needs about a week to get back into shape,” he added.
The Czechs beat Italy in this year’s semi-finals, while Serbia saw off Russia. The Fed Cup finals will be played on a hardcourt in Prague’s O2 Arena which has a capacity of 14,000. The Czechs won the title last year with Kvitova leading them to a victory over Russia in Moscow. It was their first Fed Cup trophy since the country split from Slovakia in 1993. The former Czechoslovakia won five Fed Cup titles between 1975 and 1988.
Kvitova out of WTA Tour finals: Defending champion Petra Kvitova pulled out of the WTA Tour Championships on Wednesday, complaining of a viral condition. The Czech player lost the opening match of the finals on Tuesday to Poland’s Agnieszka Radwanska, going down 6-3, 6-2. Kvitova, who will lead the Czech Republic in next month’s Fed Cup final against Serbia in Prague, will be replaced by Australia’s Samantha Stosur.