The Fed Cup by BNP Paribas Final is fast approaching. Amaze friends and family with your knowledge of past finals and this year's finalists.
- This is the 49th Fed Cup Final since the competition began in 1963 and the 17th since the creation of the World Group in 1995.
- In total, 81 nations competed in Fed Cup in 2011, one more than last year.
- Russia and Czech Republic feature among the 11 nations to have lifted the trophy (although Czech Republic did so competing as Czechoslovakia). The other nations being Australia, Italy, Spain, France, Germany, Belgium, Slovak Republic, South Africa and USA. Russia won it as recently as 2008.
- This is the fifth time these nations have played but only the second as Russia and Czech Republic (previously USSR and Czechoslovakia).
- The Russians won their last clash against the Czechs 2-1 in the round robin competition of 2001, played in Great Britain, to level the scores at two ties apiece.
- Czech Republic have, however, won the only Final between the two nations, in 1988. It Russia’s first Final and Czech Republic’s last, until now.
- Neither nation has whitewashed the other in any of their four previous meetings.
- Russia and Czech Republic are ranked second and third respectively in the Fed Cup standings. The Russians are fighting to regain the top spot which they last held in 2009, while the Czechs are currently occupying their highest ever position.
- The Final will be held at the Olympic Stadium in Moscow, giving Russia that all-important home advantage. This is the first time either nation has been able to claim home-field advantage in this rivalry, as all their previous ties were contested on neutral ground.
- It is the second time the Olympic Stadium has been used to host a Fed Cup Final, the last being in 2003 when France defeated USA. It is the fourth Final to be held in Russia in the last eight years.
- Russia has won the last two finals that they have hosted and will be looking to make it a hat-trick.
- Russia will be competing in their ninth Fed Cup Final and have an even 4-4 record. They lost their first four but are now on a streak of four consecutive Final wins.
- The first Russian triumph came in 2004, in a difficult battle with France, after previously losing all four Finals in which they had competed.
- Russia have won their last nine rubbers in Fed Cup Finals, including two 4-0 victories over Italy and Spain, and will be looking to extend that phenomenal run.
- Czech Republic (as Czechoslovakia) have a very impressive record in Fed Cup Finals having won five and lost just one of their six previous appearances. This will be their first Final as Czech Republic.
- The Czechs first won Fed Cup in 1975, beating Australia convincingly 3-0 in the Final in France. Their heroine that year? A certain Martina Navratilova.
- They then won three years in a row between 1983 and 1985, stopping the tremendous run of USA (who had won the previous seven Finals).
- Their last final was, coincidentally, against Russia (although it was Czechoslovakia v USSR at the time) in 1988 and, in a very exciting and tense final in Australia, Czechoslovakia emerged victorious with a hard-earned 2-1 victory.
- Petra Kvitova is 4-0 for this season’s Fed Cup and will be fighting to remain unbeaten until the very end.