Kvitova to lead Czechs in Fed Cup v France

Reigning Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova has come back from a month-long break to lead holders the Czech Republic against France in the Fed Cup semi-finals in Ostrava.

Alongside the world No.4, Czech captain Petr Pala on Wednesday called up 12th-ranked Karolina Pliskova, No.13 Lucie Safarova and 23rd-ranked Barbora Strycova for the tie on April 18-19 on the Ostrava hardcourt.

Tereza Smitkova, the world No.57, will also travel with the team.

“We are the odds-on favourite but it won’t be a stroll,” Pala told journalists.

“France are playing great tennis in the Fed Cup and we have to look out.”

Kvitova, the 25-year-old Wimbledon champion from 2011 and 2014, last played at Doha in February, then skipped the Indian Wells and Miami tournaments citing “mental and physical weariness”.

Led by Kvitova and Safarova, the Czech Republic won the Fed Cup in 2011, 2012 and 2014. France last lifted the trophy in 2003.

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