PRAGUE (Reuters) – World number eight Karolina Pliskova has pulled out of the Czech team for next week’s Fed Cup final against defending champions the United States due to a calf injury, she said on Saturday.
Pliskova wore tape on her right calf during the WTA finals in Singapore last month, and her condition has not improved.
“Already in Singapore there were days when I felt pain even when walking and I felt terrible. But I didn’t attach much weight to it,” she said on Twitter.
“I was looking forward to the final very much, but after the examination my start is not possible. I’m really sorry about that. Our team is strong enough!”
She will be replaced by debutant Barbora Krejcikova, who leads the WTA doubles rankings with her partner Katarina Siniakova.
World number seven Petra Kvitova will lead the Czech side in Prague next weekend, joined by Barbora Strycova, Siniakova and Krejcikova.
The U.S. have named an unfamiliar-looking lineup missing their big names.
With Serena and Venus Williams unavailable along with Sloane Stephens and Madison Keys, captain Kathy Rinaldi’s top-ranked player is world number 35 Danielle Collins.
She will be joined in Prague by 48th-ranked Sofia Kenin, number 63 Alison Riske and Nicole Melichar, the world’s 15th ranked doubles player.
The U.S. have dominated the Czechs in Fed Cup play posting a 10-2 record. The nations have met twice in the final — with Czechoslovakia winning in 1985 and the U.S. victorious in 1986.
(Reporting by Jan Lopatka, editing by Ed Osmond)