Kvitova, Safarova miss Czech Fed Cup semi

Defending champions the Czech Republic will be without their two highest-ranked players Petra Kvitova and Lucie Safarova in next week’s Fed Cup semi-final in Switzerland.

Kvitova and Safarova were key members of the Czech team who won four Fed Cup titles in five years.

But the No.7-ranked Kvitova has been struggling since ending her seven-year partnership with coach David Kotyza in January, and the 15th-ranked Safarova needs more time to return to form following last year’s illness.

No.18 Karolina Pliskova, who won both singles matches and the doubles in the 3-2 victory in Romania in the first round, will lead the Czechs for the April 16-17 series on an indoor hardcourt in Lucerne.

Barbora Strycova, Denisa Allertova and Lucie Hradecka were also included in the team.

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