- Unbeliebable: White House turns Bieber petition response into immigration screed
- Obama signs law denying Iran ambassador’s visa, but says law is ‘advisory’
- Mich. judge to laughing convicted killer: ‘I hope you die in prison’
- Man charged in Kansas City-area highway shootings
- Keystone XL pipeline still on hold after State Dept. decision
- Fla. man charged with killing 16-month-old son to play Xbox undisturbed
- Drones from the deep: Pentagon develops ocean-floor attack robots
- Michigan mayor slaps back atheists’ try to erect ‘reason station’ at city hall
- PHILLIPS: Where is the conservative establishment?
- 7.5-magnitude earthquake shakes southern Mexico
Fed Cup a final chance for Kvitova to save season
Despite withdrawing midway through last week’s elite WTA Championships with bronchitis, she said on Wednesday she hoped “to be 100 percent fit on Saturday” for the opening singles.
“We expect her to play,” Czech captain Petr Pala said.
She and the doubles team are the keys to the Czech’s chances, but Kvitova will start with question marks over her fitness and form. In a season plagued by injuries and illnesses, she has dropped from being ranked No. 2 to No. 8. She failed to successfully retain any of the six titles she won in 2011, including Wimbledon and the WTA Championships, but won two tour events and reached the semifinals at the Australian and French Opens.
“Of course, I didn’t win any Grand Slam,” she said. “But I’m so happy that I’m here and I was able to be in the top eight in Istanbul. So, I think it’s a good season and we try, all of us, to play our best and to win this trophy again.”
Kvitova has been struggling in the last two months, in particular, with just one win in her last three WTA events.
The Fed Cup, however, has been a success story for her. She is unbeaten over the last two years, claiming 10 consecutive singles victories. A year ago, she beat Maria Kirilenko and Svetlana Kuznetsova in the final in Moscow.
The Czechs have beaten Germany and Italy to set up the final in Prague on an indoor hard-court.
“We’ll be under pressure because it’s the final and we’re the defending champions,” Kvitova said. “All our fans are not ready to accept anything but a victory. But at the same time, they all will be on our side.”
Serbia, meanwhile, has been enjoying its best Fed Cup season since the country became independent. It recorded first victories in the World Group with away wins over Belgium and Russia to reach its first final.
“It’s a historic moment for us, a very special moment,” said Jelena Jankovic, one of the two former world No. 1s on the Serbian team.
“We’re all very thrilled,” added Ana Ivanovic.
Pala said: “They’re both very dangerous. They’re used to playing big games.”
The Serbs believe the court in the 02 Arena, where the final sold out in six hours, benefits them and could slow down Kvitova’s speedy game.
Women losing coverage under Obamacare, too
- Scalia to students on high taxes: At a certain point, 'perhaps you should revolt'
- Former Ranger breaks silence on Pat Tillman death: I may have killed him
- Special Forces' suicide rates hit record levels casualties of 'hard combat'
- Feds approve powdered alcohol; 'Palcohol' available later this year
- Army goes to war with National Guard, seizes Apache attack helicopters
- Harry Reid blasts Bundy ranch supporters as 'domestic terrorists'
- Inside China: Marine's comment on islands draws sharp Chinese response
- Jews being told to register in Ukraine: John Kerry
- EDITORIAL: Mark Warner running scared?
- EDITORIAL: More Lerner smoking-gun emails at IRS
Top 10 handguns in the U.S.