Petra Kvitova ruled out of opening singles of Fed Cup final
PRAGUE: America's chances of retaining the Fed Cup this weekend improved on Friday when two-time Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova was ruled out of the opening singles for the Czech Republic due to illness.
Kvitova was the second top-10 player lost to the Czechs. Karolina Pliskova was ruled out last Saturday by calf and wrist injuries.
The Czechs won the Fed Cup in five of the previous seven years, and Kvitova contributed to each one to sit fourth among women with the most Fed Cup trophies.
But she fell ill after the WTA Finals in Singapore and didn't train this week due to a high temperature. She still might recover in time to play the reverse singles on Sunday.
"Chances are still there [for me to play]," Kvitova said after the draw on Friday. "I'm feeling a bit better. We're going to decide [that] tomorrow."
Kvitova returned to the team this year after recovering from injuries she suffered during a knife attack at her home in December 2016. She won all four of her singles in the Fed Cup.
"It's unusual; that never happened before," captain Petr Pala said about losing his best two players. "But still I think we're the favorites. I'm still very confident about my team."
United States captain Kathy Rinaldi said she also believed in her players.