Published November 20, 2014
Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova will lead the reigning titlist Czech Republic in its Fed Cup semifinal against visiting Italy next week.
The best-of-five affair will be staged on an indoor hardcourt at Ostrava's CEZ Arena on April 21-22.
The world No. 3 Kvitova has been slowed by injuries and illness since February and has played only three matches, going 1-2, on the WTA since she led the Czechs past the Germans, 4-1, in a Fed Cup quarterfinal two months ago.
Kvitova will be joined on the Czech squad by last week's Charleston runner-up Lucie Safarova and doubles specialists Andrea Hlavackova and Lucie Hradecka, who were last year's French Open doubles champs.
Team Italy will be led by 2011 French Open runner-up and 2010 Roland Garros titlist Francesca Schiavone, who will be joined by Roberta Vinci, Flavia Pennetta and Sara Errani.
Italy is 4-1 all-time versus the Czech Republic, including wins in their last four meetings.
The Czech Republic captured its first-ever Fed Cup title last year by besting Russia in the final. The Italians own three titles, including back-to-back ones in 2009 and 2010.
The Czech Republic-Italy winner will meet the Russia-Serbia victor in the World Group final in November.