Home advantage key as Russia meet Czechs in Fed Cup final
The elite in women’s tennis, the Fed Cup final between Russia and Czech Republic, takes place this coming weekend.
Currently ranked second and third respectively, there is little to separate the two nations, and the quality within each team’s ranks indicates that a terrific spectacle should be evident in Moscow.
Russia, with home advantage, are understandably 8/11 favourites, with this price being influenced by the tremendous fashion in which they qualified for the final of the championships.
An emphatic 5-0 win over defending champions and current ranking leaders Italy proved the credentials of a team which includes world number seven Vera Zvonareva, and with a 100 per cent record in only two meetings between the nations in this competition, that 8/11 could turn out to be a profitable punt on the home side.
The Czechs meanwhile, boast world number two and reigning Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova, along with the women’s doubles world number-two ranked Kveta Peschke, who is also a current Wimbledon champion, in doubles competition.
Going into the final at 1/1, Kvitova’s influence on the side could prove vital, and her four rubber wins from four in qualifying gives an indication that punters could get a good run for their money by backing Czech Republic at that price.
While Kvitova is the strongest singles player heading into the final though, it is Russia who appear to have the superior strength in depth of the two nations, with team members Zvonareva, Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, Svetlana Kuznetsova and Maria Kirilenko all within the top 30 singles rankings.
Compelling arguments can be made for each side in the Fed Cup, but with home advantage, and coming into the final on the back of such a convincing win over the current champions, Russia appear to justify their tag as favourites to win the tournament, and it can pay dividends to back them to claim their fifth Fed Cup title at 8/11.