The Czech Republic has chosen that the Fed Cup by BNP Paribas semifinal against Italy will be held at the CEZ Arena, Ostrava on 21-22 April. The venue, which underwent a massive renovation in 2004, is primarily used for ice hockey but was also used for the first round Davis Cup tie between the same two nations earlier this year.
The Czech team are looking to retain the Fed Cup having won the competition for the first time in 2011. Having played on the road in all of their ties to capture the title last time around and against Germany in the first round this year it promises to be a party atmosphere in the Republic’s third largest city.
The tie itself promises to be fiercely competitive as both nations appear in their fourth consecutive semifinal. The last meeting was held on clay in the Foro Italico, Rome in 2010 when the Italian team strolled to a 5-0 triumph on their way to the title. That victory also marked the fourth straight win for Italy over Czech Republic.
The indoor conditions in Ostrava should be more to the liking of the hosts’ star players. Should Petra Kvitova once again make herself available for the tie she will put a 27 match win streak in indoor contests on the line having scored two such wins over Sabine Lisicki and Julia Goerges in a 4-1 first round success in Bamberg to reach this stage.
The Italians reach the semifinal by overcoming a strong Ukrainian challenge that was decided in the final rubber by Roberta Vinci and Flavia Pennetta as the former took her impressive Fed Cup doubles record to a perfect 17-0.