Pliskova to lead Czechs against Switzerland

 06 Apr 2016 - 15:05

Pliskova to lead Czechs against Switzerland

Prague: World number 18 Karolina Pliskova will lead reigning champions the Czech Republic in their Fed Cup semi-final tie against Switzerland in Lucerne on April 16-17, team captain Petr Pala said Wednesday.

The Czechs have also called up 33rd-ranked Barbora Strycova, Denisa Allertova (60) and Lucie Hradecka, who is 83rd in the singles rankings and 9th for doubles.

They will miss out-of-form world number seven Petra Kvitova and 15th-ranked Lucie Safarova, who led the team to Fed Cup wins in four of the last five editions.

"We have the best players of this season and options for both the singles and the doubles," Pala told reporters.

"We can make our choices according to the results," he added.

Kvitova, the Wimbledon champion in 2011 and 2014, sacked her coach David Kotyza in January and has been struggling so far this season.

Safarova has been falling down the rankings after making the top ten late last year as she grapples with the impact of a bacterial infection from last September.

The Czechs beat Romania 3-2 in the first round in February as Pliskova won both her singles -- including a win over Simona Halep -- and added the decisive point in the doubles rubber paired with Strycova.

Switzerland, who beat Germany 3-2 in the first round, are eyeing their first Fed Cup final since 1998 when they relied on Martina Hingis, who is still in the team as the current world number one for doubles.

The Swiss have also called up 10th-ranked Belinda Bencic, alongside Timea Bacsinszky (17) and Viktorija Golubic (137).