2016 Fed Cup Final – Team France vs Team Czech Republic

The Czech Republic are pretty heavy favorites to win yet another Fed Cup.

Regular WTA tour events are over, however the Fed Cup Final is still to be played. The matches are scheduled for this weekend, on November 12th and 13th, with Team France hosting Team Czech Republic in Strasbourg. However, that France is hosting has not determined the favorites for the final as the Czech team are considered large favorites heading into the final match.

Stan James for instance make the Czech Republic -450 favorites to defeat Team France. The latter are coming in best-priced at +350 with Coral.

There are a few big factors that make the Czechs the long favorites in my view, the biggest of which is simply their nominees. Petra Kvitova is among them, a player that has come on incredibly strong during the last few months. She began to play her better tennis in Rio and she proceeded to win a title in Wuhan this fall. She may not have finished the year as the top-ranked Czech, however she’s clearly the most proven player on her side still.

The top-ranked Czech is Karolina Pliskova, the runnerup from the 2016 US Open. Pliskova and Kvitova compose a one-two punch that the French should have plenty of trouble with. The Czechs are rounded out by Barbora Strycova and Lucie Hradecka, the former of which is arguably as strong as any player on the French side.

The hosts counter with Caroline Garcia, Kristina Mladenovic, Alize Cornet, and Pauline Parmentier. There are three fine players in that group in Garcia, Mladenovic, and Cornet however there’s not really a major talent like Kvitova. I see her and Pliskova both as stronger than any player that the French have, something that promises to give the Czechs a major edge in numerous matches.

Besides a better lineup of nominees, the Czechs have no shortage of experience when it comes to winning the Fed Cup. They are going for their 5th title in 6 years and that the venue for the matches is in France should not phase these experienced winners at all. All of their Fed Cup matches this season have been ‘away’ matches and they have not been stopped so far.

It’s hard to picture where France has any kind of clear advantage in this match-up. In fact even their best player, Caroline Garcia, is a bit more of a clay courter than anything else. That’s the surface that she won her two titles on this season while hard-court results have been far-less consistent. I don’t see a reason to look passed the favorites in this upcoming contest, one that should see the Czechs win yet another Fed Cup Final.

Shane Lambert