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Czech Republic can cause Fed Cup upset on Russian soil

| 03.11.2011

Petra Kvitova will be integral to Czech Republic’s chances of success as they head into this weekend’s Fed Cup final away on Russian soil.

The world number two is the 2011 Wimbledon champion, and will be looking to build on her 100 per cent record in qualifying for the final, as she continues to compete in singles matches at the tournament alongside Lucie Safarova.

Although the Czechs have failed to claim a Fed Cup victory in the last 23 years, 2011 could represent their best chance yet, as they can also call upon the talents of world doubles number two Kveta Peschke, also a Wimbledon doubles champion, along with the talents of Kvitova, to give them tremendous pedigree in both forms of the game.

While Russia have home advantage in Moscow, Kvitova in particular will be comfortable on the hard courts, as she has achieved success in her past two tournaments, the WTA Championship title, and Generali Ladies Championship, on this surface.

This form, paired with the shoulder injury troubles of Russia star player Vera Zvonareva, make the 5/6 on offer for a Czech Republic triumph seem a very reasonable price.

Zveranova’s form has stuttered of late also, winning just one of her four matches in the WTA Championships last week, and Russian captain Shamil Tarpischev admits she must play through the pain barrier as her solid serve will be essential should the home side have any chance of justifying their tag as Fed Cup favourites.

With a shoulder injury obviously a massive detriment to a player priding herself on a powerful serve, Russia’s chances seem diminutive in comparison to their final counterparts, and although they boast four players who place within the top 30 in world rankings for singles competitors, the lack of a doubles specialist could prove costly come Sunday.

For these reasons, it is understandable to see Russia’s odds drift out to 5/6.



John Klee