Czechs hit by Zakopalova withdrawal

  • Last Updated: April 19 2013, 14:36 BST

The Czech Republic's Fed Cup defence has been hit by a setback on the eve of their World Group semi-final with Italy.

Vinci (l) and Errani lead the Italian Fed Cup bid
Vinci (l) and Errani lead the Italian Fed Cup bid

Klara Zakopalova has been ruled out due to an allergy problem so Andrea Hlavackova, originally dropped from the team which beat Australia in the first round, comes in.

The Czechs face a tough trip to Palmero where the hosts have chosen a claycourt to boost their chances.

Italy have two players in the current top 12 in the world - Sara Errani, who will open the tie against Lucie Safarova, and Roberta Vinci, who faces Petra Kvitova in the second rubber.

That match will be a rpeeat of Sunday's Katowice Open final, also played on clay, which Vinci won 7-6 6-1.

The reverse singles take place on Sunday, followed by the potentially decisive doubles rubber for which Hlavackova has been named alongside regular partner Lucie Hradecka.

Italy nominate Flavia Pennetta and Francesca Schiavone for that clash.

The second semi-final sees Russia host Sloavkia in Moscow.

The tie will be opened by the clash between Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova and Dominika Cibulkova before Maria Kirilenko faces Daniela Hantuchova.

Ekaterina Makarova and Elena Vesnina are nominated for Sunday's doubles with Magdalena Rybarikova and Jana Cepelova chosen by the visitors.

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