Kvitova to lead Czechs against Romania in Fed Cup

Captain Petr Pala said he had called up Kvitova, the 25-year-old two-time Wimbledon champion, alongside 12th-ranked Karolina Pliskova, Barbora Strycova (48) and Denisa Allertova (66).

Petra Kvitova and Pliskova led the Czechs to their fourth Fed Cup title in five years last November.   -  Reuters

World number seven Petra Kvitova will spearhead Czech Republic in their first-round Fed Cup tie in Cluj, Romania on February 6-7, the Czech team captain said on Tuesday.

Captain Petr Pala said he had called up Kvitova, the 25-year-old two-time Wimbledon champion, alongside 12th-ranked Karolina Pliskova, Barbora Strycova (48) and Denisa Allertova (66).

Kvitova and Pliskova led the Czechs to their fourth Fed Cup title in five years last November, beating the Maria Sharapova-led Russia 3-2 in the final in Prague.

"I believe the team is very strong," Pala told reporters.

Like in last year's finals, the Czechs will miss ninth-ranked Lucie Safarova, who is recovering from a bacterial infection that has been plaguing her since last September.

Romania will in turn miss world number two Simona Halep, who is due to undergo a nose surgery.

"Halep's absence makes us the favourites but we have to beware, they (Romania) have shown in the past they can play very well even without Halep," said Pala.