Over the weekend was the Fed Cup Finals between the Czech Republic and Russia. Leading the way for the Czech Republic was Petra Kvitova, and the anchor for the Russian team was Maria Sharapova. Sharapova won both of her matches for Team Russia, but it was not enough to defeat the Czech Republic team. The Czech team has been dominant in Fed Cup play winning the title four times in the past five years. They have many top players competing for them, which makes them a force in Fed Cup competition.
The Fed Cup is an annual women’s team-based tournament, where players represent their nation in the competition. It is divided into multiple divisions with the World Group being the top division. Only a team competing in the World Group can win the Fed Cup that year. The other teams work through the other divisions for a chance to eventually be promoted to the World Group and compete for the Fed Cup title. However, there are many countries that have never reached that level because of the lack of talent and resources to train top tennis players.
The Fed Cup often struggles to attract top players to compete, since it does not provide ranking points, unlike the Davis Cup. Top players only compete if the title is on the line to add to their list of accomplishments, but if their national team is in a lower division, it is less likely that they would want to compete. However, as they close into the olympics, players will increase their participation if Fed Cup since the ITF sets a minimum requirement to be allowed to participate in olympic competition.
It is likely that the Czech Republic will maintain dominance over the Fed Cup in years to come because of the strength of their team. The top players of the Czech Republic have great pride for representing their country in Fed Cup. They more regularly play Fed Cup ties than other top players, which is why the Czech Republic tends to do so well.