Strong Czech-Russia Fed Cup final line-ups

Strong Czech-Russia Fed Cup final line-ups

World No.5 Petra Kvitova will spearhead defending champions the Czech Republic in the Fed Cup final against Russia on November 14-15 in Prague.

On the hardcourt of Prague’s O2 Arena, the Czechs will also rely on ninth-ranked Lucie Safarova, Karolina Pliskova (15) and Barbora Strycova (42).

Kvitova and Safarova have led the Czech Republic to three trophies from the past four Fed Cup editions.

“It wasn’t an easy nomination – it almost never is – but I have decided for this team which gives us the best chances of success against Russia,” captain Petr Pala told reporters on Thursday.

“Petra and Lucie were a clear pick – they have won a lot of games. Karolina has had an excellent season,” he added.

Russia have called up world No.3 Maria Sharapova, 24th-ranked Ekaterina Makarova, Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova (31) and Elena Vesnina (111).

Vesnina and Makarova are in the top 10 of the WTA doubles rankings, ranked seventh and ninth respectively.

The two nations have met five times in the Fed Cup but three of those meetings were between the then Czechoslovakia and Soviet Union.

The Czech team lead their head-to-head record with Russia 3-2, including a victory in the most-recent encounter in the 2011 final in Moscow.

The Czechs have won the trophy eight times, including five victories as Czechoslovakia which split in 1993 into the Czech Republic and Slovakia.

Four-time champions Russia, who are trying to bounce back from a disappointing 2014 season, when they lost 4-0 to Australia in their opening-round clash, will playing their 11th Fed Cup final overall.

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