Team Czech Has Best Nominations for Fed Cup

The Czechs don’t have Petra Kvitova, however their team is still amazing for the Fed Cup as play starts this weekend.

The first round of the 2017 Fed Cup will be played this weekend in venues across the world. In one tie the Czech Republic will host the Spanish team. The venue will be Ostravar Arena and the surface with be hard court and indoor.

According to the home page for the Fed Cup the “two nations last met in 2014 in…a thrilling tie held in a rainy Seville, Spain” (FedCup.com). In 2014, however, the Spaniards had Carla Suarez Navarro participating and she is not listed as a nomination for this weekend. Spain does have Garbine Muguruza listed, but after that it’s tough to see where they might get the stellar tennis that might be needed to counteract the rock solid Czech team.

The Czechs have Karolina Pliskova, Barbora Strycova, Katerina Siniakova, and Lucie Safarova as their nominees at this point. That quartet of players is already amazingly deep for a Fed Cup team, one that is missing Petra Kvitova due to her home-invasion attack in December. If Muguruza plays her best tennis, something she hasn’t done since winning the French Open, then she can certainly get the Spanish side into contention in this tie. However, after Muguruza it’s hard to like Spain’s counters to the Czech team. The No. 2 Spanish nomination is Lara Arruabarrena, a player that is peripheral on the women’s tour.

The Czech looks ready to go on another deep in the Fed Cup. They are the top-seeded defending champions and there is no country in the draw that can boast as much depth as them. Keeping in mind that the final won’t be played until November, the Czechs could have Kvitova back by then to add to an already impressive roster. Furthermore, Kristyna Pliskova is currently ranked 58th in the world and she might improve over the course of the current season.

Serena Williams and Venus Williams don’t generally bother with the Fed Cup. That being the case, America doesn’t have the deepest of teams, something they would have if those two players participated.

Looking at the current nominations, I think the Swiss team is the second best. The headliner is Timea Bacsinszky and the main support is Belinda Bencic. The latter has struggled to get to her best tennis this season, but her talent might explode at any time. Lastly, Martina Hingis remains a force in doubles.

The Swiss and Czechs may meet in the final this season. Heading into this weekend, when the first round is played, they look like the two favorites in the eight-country draw.

 

Shane Lambert