Kvitova to open Fed Cup final against Pavlyuchenkova
PRAGUE (AP) Petra Kvitova will open the Fed Cup final against Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova when the defending champion Czech Republic faces Russia.
The sixth-ranked Czech is 6-3 against the Russian and will look to give the hosts a good start in their quest for fourth title in five years.
The Czechs won the Fed Cup in 2011, `12 and last year, while Russia is seeking its first triumph since 2008.
Fourth-ranked Maria Sharapova will open her first Fed Cup final against Karolina Pliskova in the second singles on Saturday on an indoor hard court at O2 Arena. It will be their first encounter.
''It is a bit of a surprise I never played against her, she has been on the tour for a while already,'' Sharapova said about the 11th-ranked Pliskova, the rising star of the Czech tennis.
''In terms of playing in away match you know what to expect. It's normal to feel like an underdog which we are, we just hope to see some Russian flags out there.''
In Sunday's reverse singles, Kvitova will first play Sharapova, then Pliskova will take on Pavlyuchenkova. In doubles, the Czech pair of Lucie Safarova and Barbora Strycova will play Ekaterina Makarova and Elena Vesnina.