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Czechs replace injured Safarova for Fed Cup semi-final

PRAGUE (Reuters) - Czech Republic's Lucie Hradecka will replace the injured Lucie Safarova for their Fed Cup semi-final against Belgium this weekend.

The Czechs are aiming to reach their first Fed Cup final since the country split with Slovakia in 1993. They have lost at the semi-final stage in the last two years.

Safarova, the second-highest ranked player on the team at world number 31, injured her left thigh in training on Tuesday. "I decided to call up Lucie Hradecka because the doctors said (Safarova) would not be 100 percent for Saturday," Czech captain Petr Pala said in a video posted on the team's Facebook page on Wednesday.

The team also includes 18th-ranked Petra Kvitova, who beat then-world number one Kim Clijsters in the Paris Open final in February, Iveta Benesova and Barbora Zahlavova Strycova.

Belgium's Clijsters will also miss the April 16-17 semi-final due to injury.

(Reporting by Jason Hovet; Editing by Ken Ferris)