The Olympic stadium in Moscow, locally known as Olimpiyskiy, has been selected by the Russian Tennis Federation to host the Fed Cup by BNP Paribas World Group Final between Russia and Czech Republic, taking place on 5-6 November 2011.
The arena was built for the 1980 Summer Olympics and it will be the second time that it hosts a Fed Cup Final. The Olympic stadium has a rich tennis history as it also was the chosen venue for the Davis Cup Finals of 1994, 1995 and 2006.
The stadium, that can hold up to 16,000 people, will witness the first Fed Cup Final that Russia and Czech Republic play as independent countries. In 1988, Czechoslovakia beat USSR to lift the trophy for the fifth and last time, while the Russians have since gone on to win four titles in recent years.
Russia reached the Final with home victories over France 3-2 and Italy 5-0. Shamil Tarpischev’s women showed their winning determination when they came back from a 2-0 down against France in the first round, becoming only the fourth nation in Fed Cup history to achieve this feat. The demolition of defending champions Italy also gives a hint of their strength.
Czech Republic, on the other hand, booked their ticket to the Final with two away victories. The Czechs came through a very tight tie against Belgium 3-2 in the semifinal, which was preceded by a pleasant tie against neighbours Slovak Republic that was quickly sorted after winning the first three rubbers, although it ended with an overall score of 3-2.
Russia has home advantage and will benefit from playing in front of a passionate and big Moscow crowd, but the Czechs will be looking for their first Fed Cup title since 1988 and their motivation could play a decisive role.