Hindustan Times ST (Jaipur)

Czechs call up reserve Fed Cup team

- Agence FrancePres­se sportsdesk@hindustant­imes.com

Defending champions the Czech Republic on Wednesday named a reserve team to compete in the Fed Cup semi-finals against the United States after their top stars decided to skip the tie.

Czech captain Petr Pala called up world number 38 Katerina Siniakova, 58th-ranked Kristyna Pliskova, Denisa Allertova (107) and Marketa Vondrousov­a (233) for the tie in Tampa on April 22-23.

“The girls have done an awful lot so I’m happy to oblige,” Pala said after his top three players Karolina Pliskova, Barbora Strycova and Lucie Safarova asked to be left out because of either tough programme or minor injury problems. The Czechs are also missing two-time Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova, who is recovering from an injury on her left hand she suffered in a fight with a knife-wielding burglar last December. The four led the Czechs to five Fed Cup titles in the last six editions.

Rain washed out all matches scheduled Tuesday at the US Men’s Clay Court Championsh­ip, the ATP tournament in Houston. Organisers said all remaining first-round singles matches would be completed on Wednesday. That incudes fifthseede­d Spaniard Fernando Verdasco taking on South African veteran Kevin Anderson.

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