Is it excitng, or just unfortunate, that two of the most star-crossed players on the tour are also two of the biggest Fed Cup stars, and that they meet tomorrow in the second rubber of the Fed Cup final? Petra Kvitova, leader of the defending champion Czech Republic, faces off against Jelena Jankovic of Serbia tomorrow after Lucie Safarova plays Ana Ivanovic.
Kvitova has been sick with bronchitis and who has taken a course of antibiotics, and says that she isn't 100% well, and doesn't want the pressure of having to win two matches. Ivanovic is just coming back from a hip injury, to make things even more complicated.
"These women are apostles for the modern game," said ITF president Francesco Ricci Bitti in announcing the final.. "Long before there was a tour, long before there was equal prize money, long before tennis returned to the Olympic movement, Fed Cup gave women players a chance to compete in a global competition, wearing the colours of their nations proudly."
Safarova is 3-2 against Ivanovic, and Kvitova is 1-0 against Jankovic. The competition is being held on an indoor court, which is Kvitova's best surface. Fed Cup, however, is unpredictable. Factor in the health problems and the Pennetta-like spirit which some players (i.e., Kvitova and Jankovic) take into Fed Cup play, and things can get interesting.
Unless substitutions are made, the match play will be reversed on Sunday: Kvitova will play Ivanovic, and Safarova will play Jankovic. Should a doubles rubber be needed to determine who wins, the accomplished Czech team of Andrea Hlavackova and Lucie Hradecka will play against Bojana Jovanovski and Aleksandra Krunic. (And if you under-estimate Krunic, you haven't been following Fed Cup!)