Czech Republic meet Russia in The FED Cup Final in Prague

14 - 15 November 2015 @ O2 Arena Prague

The Prague O2 Arena will open its doors for tennis fans across the country and the world as the Czech Republic renew their rivalry with Russia. The final of this year’s FED Cup promises to go the wire with both sides evenly matched and the small details could well decide who will emerge victorious.

So what are the three most certain things in women’s tennis? Well, firstly its Serena Williams dominating the tour, next up is the Czech Republic reaching the FED Cup final and finally its Maria Sharapova being prickly in a press conference in the lead up to a major event.

And we’ve completed a full house this week as the Russian tennis star batted away questions about why she is staying at The Four Seasons hotel in Prague and not with the rest of the Russian team. “Is this a serious question?” Sharapova told reporters in deadpan fashion at a press conference in Prague earlier this week.

The response was telling. Sharapova is clearly in no mood to answer such trivial questions even if it does make you wonder why she isn’t staying with the rest of the team. The Russian number one has her game face on and is focused on upsetting the local fans this weekend by taking the FED Cup back to Russia.

"We expect a stadium full of Czechs – I’m sure there will be some Russian flags flying around – but there will be more Czechs in the stadium than Russians. Our full concentration will be on what is ahead of us and not on what’s going on around us.” Sharapova told fedcup.com the build-up to the match.

But let’s not beat around the bush. The Czech Republic are bristling with confidence, experience and, as well as having the world number 6, 9 and 11 in their ranks, will also have the backing of a vociferous home support.

Not to diminish the threat that Russia pose but the Czech’s would surely be left disappointed if they failed to win their third FED Cup in just four years.

Petra Kvitova will lead the charge for the home side and the 25 year-old has already tasted victory against her Russian counterpart recently with a straight sets wins in the WTA finals event. Meanwhile, Lucie Safarova knocked Sharapova out of the French Open earlier this year so the Russian star will no doubt already be bruised by her encounters with the Czech team.

Nevertheless, you always get the feeling that Kvitova might crack under the pressure of expectation and her surprise WTA Finals defeat to Agnieszka Radwanska is a timely reminder that the Czech number can be prone to odd lapse of concentration – and nerves play a big part too.

"I was nervous every time I step on court," Kvitova said in a recent interview with fedcup.com "Especially here, when the full crowd is cheering for us. I never be without the nerves playing Fed Cup for Czech Republic. It's going to be difficult.”

But her record in Fed Cup tennis is exemplary with just two defeats in her last 22 matches.

"It's [The Fed Cup] always a big motivation - especially when we are playing at home - always to show people," Kvitova told www.fedcup.com "It's a little bit different when we are a team. Winning is the best feeling that you can have and we want to feel it again."

The event, unfortunately for those without a ticket, has been sold out although it might be worth checking social media or with the O2 Arena directly to see if any tickets are available. Otherwise you can watch all of the action live on CT Sport from 2pm on Saturday 14th November.

The match will span across two days with the winner needing to win three of the five matches that take place. The schedule has yet to be announced but more details will be available from www.fedcup.com as well as local media. 

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