Defending champion Czech Republic and Serbia have announced the players that will represent them in next month's Federation Cup final, the International Tennis Federation said on its Web site.
The host Czechs, who are seeking their seventh title in this international team competition, will be led by last year's Fed Cup hero and 2011 Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova, while Lucie Safarova will be the No. 2 singles player and the duo of Lucie Hradecka and Andrea Hlavackova will compete for their country if the match comes down to a decisive doubles match.
Kvitova, the world's sixth-ranked player, will need to recover from the viral illness that forced her to withdraw from this week's season-ending WTA Championship event in Istanbul.
Serbia, which has never won the Federation Cup, will be represented by 2008 French Open champion Ana Ivanovic and Jelena Jankovic, respectively, in singles play and by the team of Bojana Jovanovski and Aleksandra Krunic in the doubles.
The teams, which will square off at the O2 Arena in Prague on Nov. 3-4, have opted for the same lineups they used in the semifinals in April, when the Czechs defeated Italy 4-1 and Serbia edged Russia 3-2.
"We have a pretty close team and we have good singles and doubles players," Kvitova was quoted as saying on the ITF Web site. "Lucie (Safarova) has had an unbelievable season; she made the Top 20 for the first time. She was trying to do that for a long time so that's good for her and that's very important for me and for our team to know that she can beat everybody."
"Our doubles team are in Istanbul so that's a real achievement for them. They had great results in the Grand Slams and won many titles. They have a silver from the Olympics too so I think they are very strong," Kvitova said.
The Federation Cup - like the Davis Cup - is played throughout the year but its format differs slightly.
The rounds of the women's competition are played over two days instead of three. All matches are best-of-three sets instead of best-of-five and the doubles is scheduled as the fifth and final match rather than the third match.
Eight countries compete in the Federation Cup's World Group as opposed to 16 teams in the case of the Davis Cup. EFE