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24 October 2012

Teams announced for Fed Cup Final


NEWS ARTICLE

Photo: Martin SidojaksThe Czech team

With just over a week to go before the highly-anticipated Fed Cup by BNP Paribas Final kicks off, the players who will be fighting for the biggest prize in women's team tennis have been announced.

Both Czech Republic and Serbia will be at full strength for the clash at the O2 Arena in Prague on 3-4 November and there are no fewer than five Grand Slam champions named among the two teams of four.

The hosts will look to Petra Kvitova to recover from the viral illness that has forced her to withdraw from the season-ending WTA Championship event in Istanbul this week. The 2011 Wimbledon champion has been the star of the show for her country in Fed Cup over the last two years and Czech captain Petr Pala knows a lot will depend on the performance of his No. 1 if his team is to win a second successive title.

Kvitova will be backed up by Lucie Safarova in the singles, and should their services be required, the tie could hinge on the performance of doubles specialists and 2011 Roland Garros champions Andrea Hlavackova and Lucie Hradecka.

"We have a pretty close team and we have good singles and doubles players," said Kvitova. "Lucie (Safarova) has had an unbelievable season; she made the Top 20 for the first time. She was trying to do that for a long time so that’s good for her and that’s very important for me and for our team to know that she can beat everybody.

"Our doubles team are in Istanbul so that’s a real achievement for them. They had great results in the Grand Slams and won many titles. They have a silver from the Olympics too so I think they are very strong."

For the visitors, it's a case of fielding the best team possible, which just so happens to include two former world No. 1s. Jelena Jankovic, a mixed doubles Grand Slam champ alongside Great Britain's Jamie Murray at 2007 Wimbledon, and Ana Ivanovic, the 2008 Roland Garros winner, might not be as highly ranked as they once were but both love representing their country.

The dynamic duo will be supported by Bojana Jovanovski and Aleksandra Krunic, which means that both Czech Republic and Serbia have named exactly the same teams as those that won their respective semifinals against Italy and Russia.

Don't forget to follow all of the action live on FedCup.com with build-up starting early next week.

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CZE Flag Czech Republic v Serbia SRB Flag 3-4 Nov 2012 View details

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