|Posted on April 10, 2011 at 8:45 AM|
Tomas Berdych's girlfriend, Lucie Safarova looks ahead to the Fed Cup World Group semifinal between Belgium and Czech Republic in Charleroi on 16-17 April.
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Petra Kvitova and Lucie Safarova seen here in Bratislava on February 6, 2011
Czech Republic is through to the Fed Cup World Group semifinals for a third straight year!
REMINDER: Bratislava, February 2011 - Czechs through to semifinals
Czech Republic reached the World Group semifinals with a 3-2 victory over their Slovak neighbours. Leading 2-0 after the first day, the Czechs only needed one more point and Petra Kvitova duly obliged by beating Daniela Hantuchova, but the hosts salvaged some pride with a pair of dead rubber wins. Czech Republic now faces a trip to Belgium.
The full results are listed below:
R1: Lucie Safarova (CZE) d. Daniela Hantuchova (SVK) 75 61
R2: Petra Kvitova (CZE) d. Dominika Cibulkova (SVK) 62 63
R3: Petra Kvitova (CZE) d. Daniela Hantuchova (SVK) 64 62
R4: Jana Cepelova (SVK) d. Lucie Safarova (CZE) 46 76(5) ret.
R5: Jana Cepelova / Magdalena Rybarikova (SVK) d. Kveta Peschke / Barbora Zahlavova Strycova (CZE) 61 46 76(4)
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Good Memory Bratislava, February 2011
Charleroi named as semifinal venue
The Fed Cup by BNP Paribas World Group semifinal between Belgium and Czech Republic will be held at the Spiroudome Arena in Charleroi, the ITF announced on Monday.
The venue is also being used for a Davis Cup tie next month, with the Belgian men's team hosting Spain, while the last Fed Cup fixture to be played there was in 2006 when Italy claimed a 3-2 win in the final.
The World Group semifinals, which also see Russia take on defending champions Italy, are being played on 16-17 April. The winners progress to the final on 5-6 November.
Belgium booked its place in the last four by defeating USA 4-1 in Antwerp. Kim Clijsters and Yanina Wickmayer combined to win all four singles rubbers before Vania King and Liezel Huber triumphed in the doubles to avoid a whitewash.
Czech Republic also recorded an impressive victory in the first round, beating neighbours Slovak Republic 3-2 in Bratislava. Petra Kvitova and Lucie Safarova handed the visitors an unassailable 3-0 lead, but the Slovaks salvaged some pride by winning the dead rubbers.
Belgium is making its first appearance at this stage of the competition since 2006, while Czech Republic has now reached the semifinals for three years in a row. The Czechs - playing under the flag of Czechoslovakia - won the only previous meeting between the two nations in 1989.
Czech Republic won the only previous meeting between the two nations, a 3-0 victory in the World Group first round in 1989 when the competition was a week-long event. Belgium's captain, Sabine Appelmans, was on the losing side that day.
Belgium, who reached the World Group semifinals for the first time since 2006 after defeating USA 4-1 in the first round, has won its last four home ties. The Belgians have won Fed Cup once, in 2001.
The Czechs are making their third straight appearance in the Fed Cup semifinals. In 2009, they lost to USA and last year they were defeated by eventual champions Italy. Czech Republic is looking to reach its first Fed Cup Final since becoming an independent nation.
Date: 16 Apr - 17 Apr 2011
Venue: Spiroudome, Charleroi, Belgium
Day 1: 1330 hrs Local time (1130 hrs GMT)
Day 2: 1330 hrs Local time (1130 hrs GMT)
Surface: Hard (Acrylic), Indoor
Alison VAN UYTVANCK
NB: Injured Clijsters ruled out for Belgium - World No. 2 Kim Clijsters has been forced out of Belgium's team to face Czech Republic in the Fed Cup by BNP Paribas World Group semifinals in Charleroi on 16-17 April. Clijsters suffered with shoulder and wrist injuries during the American hard court season at Indian Wells and Miami, and has been ruled out of action for at least four weeks.
Barbora ZAHLAVOVA STRYCOVA
Czech Fed Cup Team before their departure for Charleroi
(From L to R) Lucie Safarova, Petra Kvitova, captain Petr Pala, Iveta Benesova, Barbora Zahlavova Strycova
The official poster for Fed Cup Semi-Final 2011