The Czech Republic has achieved quite a rare feat this year. The nation is represented in the final of the Fed Cup by BNP Paribas and the Davis Cup by BNP Paribas. They have done that on one other occasion, back in...
The Czech Republic has achieved quite a rare feat this year. The nation is represented in the final of the Fed Cup by BNP Paribas and the Davis Cup by BNP Paribas. They have done that on one other occasion, back in 1975 with both those finals being away. This time they are at home in Prague at the O2 Arena. In 1975 the Czechs won the Fed Cup defeating Australia in France but lost the Davis Cup to Sweden in Sweden. The last time both events were held in the same nation was in Germany in 1993 – Frankfurt for the women’s and Dusseldorf for the men’s and the last time a nation won both events in the same year was 1990 with the USA. So, can the Czechs get things going for the double and win the Fed Cup against Serbia? It promises to be a fascinating tie in front of a sold out stadium. In fact the 14,000 seat facility was sold out in less than six hours. The Czechs have won the Fed Cup six times and are the defending champions having beaten the Russians in Moscow twelve months ago. The Serbs are looking for their first ever title in an effort to try and emulate what the guys, led by Novak Djokovic, did with the Davis Cup in 2010. My thinking much is going to depend on Petra Kvitova with this final. If she is fully fit then I believe the Czechs are definitely favoured and in front of that home crowd, they should have the momentum, but as I say, much will depend on Kvitova who had to withdraw from last week’s season-ending championship in Istanbul, the TEB-BNP Paribas WTA Championships. “I am feeling much better than before,” Kvitova said. “I was lying in bed for the last three days. I will take it easy, so we will see how I feel, but I’m confident about playing Fed Cup. “I have a cold but the sore throat has gone so that’s a good thing. I just need to rest up, have some light practice and get some energy. I feel like I will be OK for the weekend. I am really looking forward to it.” The general feeling is that the Czech doubles team will claim that point – Lucie Hradecka and Andrea Hlavackova are likely to prove too tough – they are one of the best doubles combinations in the world. Ana Ivanovic and Jelena Jankovic are certainly incredibly determined to claim the trophy for Serbia the first time but the view is that a totally fit Kvitova will prove too much of a barrier. Ivanovic said: “The Fed Cup is a huge thing. It's definitely something I look forward to and I want to perform best for my country. “It's very exciting for all of us. It would be great to do what guys did a few years ago when they won. It's a huge event. I still get like messages and calls, ‘Oh, we are coming, we are coming’. So we are going to have a lot of family and friends coming, as well. I think it's a great way to finish the season.” Kvitova added: “I don’t like to rate chances. It’s a team competition and very different compared to WTA tournaments. I know we have a slightly better ranking and maybe we are more favourite because we are playing at home, but in Fed Cup anything can happen. “I know we can win, we can beat them, we have a strong team, we have good singles and doubles players, so we will just go on the court and play our best for the Czech Republic.”