Italy has won four straight ties against Czech Republic dating back to 1998 having lost the first three meetings. The last of these came in the 2010 semifinal where the clay court prowess of Francesca Schiavone, Flavia Pennetta and Sara Errani shone through in a 5-0 score line. This will be the fourth consecutive semifinal appearance for both nations.
Czech Republic are looking to continue a run of four victories in Fed Cup and defend the title that they won last season. This will be the first home tie for them since playing Germany in Brno in February 2010 since when they have travelled to play their last five ties. Petra Kvitova’s astonishing run of form indoors saw them past a strong German team in the opening round.
Roberta Vinci extended her perfect record in doubles to 17-0, a Fed Cup record, when she partnered Flavia Pennetta to battle Italy past Ukraine in a closely fought first round tie. However, it was the first time since 2007 that Vinci played the doubles with the tie still on the line.