Pliskova to spearhead Czechs in Fed Cup final

Karolina Pliskova will lead her country and reigning champions the Czech Republic in the final of the Fed Cup against France, taking place on November 12-13 (AFP Photo/Toshifumi Kitamura) (AFP/File)

Prague (AFP) - World number five Karolina Pliskova will lead reigning champions the Czech Republic in the Fed Cup final against France in Strasbourg on November 12-13, team captain Petr Pala said Wednesday.

Pala has also called up 11th-ranked Petra Kvitova, 20th-ranked Barbora Strycova and Lucie Hradecka, ranked 193rd for singles and 14th for doubles.

"It's a pleasure to travel to the finals in France with a team like this," Pala told reporters.

"We have a really strong team and I think we're going there as favourites."

The 24-year-old Pliskova reached the US Open finals this year and made her way to the WTA Finals in Singapore at the end of October.

The 26-year-old Kvitova, the Wimbledon champion in 2011 and 2014, has sacked two coaches this year as she has been struggling to return to the top 10.

The Czechs have won four Fed Cup trophies out of the last five editions.

France last lifted the trophy in 2003 with a team led by Amelie Mauresmo -- the current team captain -- and Mary Pierce.

In their last encounter, the Czechs won 3-1 at Ostrava in the 2015 semi-finals. The two teams are 3-3 head-to-head in the competition.

Led by Pliskova and Strycova, the Czechs beat Switzerland 3-2 at Luzern in the April semi-finals, while France saw off the Netherlands 3-2 at Trelaze, betting on Caroline Garcia and Kristina Mladenovic.