Czech Republic have been dealt a body blow with their top player Karolina Pliskova withdrawing from the Fed Cup final that will be played later this week against USA.
Pliskova’s withdrawal was due to a leg-injury she suffered during the WTA Finals in Singapore.
Tweeting the status of her injury, Pliskova said she had felt pain during the women’s tour final last week but did not pay too much attention to it. However, that looks to have aggravated and as a result she has had to withdraw from the competition.
Pliskova also apologised for it and backed Czech Republic to be strong enough to do well even in her absence.
The world number eight Pliskova was going to be a part of the Czech squad and was to join a powerful-looking line-up in the form of world number seven Petra Kvitova, Katerina Siniakova and Barbora Strycova.
However, now with her injury coming to light, Pliskova will be replaced by doubles World No. 1 Barbora Krejcikova. Krejcikova had won the French Open and Wimbledon women’s doubles titles earlier in 2018.
Unfortunately for USA, this withdrawal might not mean too much given their own squad is already very weakened due to the absence of Sloane Stephens, Serena and Venus Williams and Madison Keys.
As a result the American captain Kathy Rinaldi has had to bring in 35th-ranked Danielle Collins and she will be joined by Sofia Kenin, Alison Riske and Nicole Melichar. Apart from Riske, all the other players will be making their Fed Cup debuts in this encounter.
Czech Republic start off the match as huge favourites, having won five Fed Cup titles over the past seven years under the current captain Petr Pala. However, they were knocked out of the competition at the semi-final stage by USA and would love to go one better than their opponents this time.
USA enter the competition as defending champions after they beat Belarus in the final. It will be played on November 10 and 11.