Pliskova dug deeeeep
Despite Caroline Garcia’s warrior performance on the part of France, the Czech Republic just claimed its 5th Federation Cup title in a 6 year period! That is remarkable even if I am not the first voice to push Federation and Davis Cup results in this era of incredibly globalized tennis. These 5 Federation Cup titles join 5 won by Czechoslovakia (jointly inherited by the Czech Republic and Slovakia?). The US has a total of 17 Fed Cup titles, but the US has not won a Fed Cup title since 2000. The Czech Republic is clearly the dominant country in women’s international tennis team competitions.
The Czech Team should continue to have success. The team as constituted has a young player on the rise in Karolina Pliskova as evidenced by her US Open runner-up finish and Cincinnati title. Petra Kvitova is a streaky talent who can win points in singles as well. Both Petra Kvitova, who already has 2 Wimbledon titles, and Karolina Pliskova are threats to win majors in the coming years.
Barbora Strycova, Lucie Safarova, and even Kristyna Pliskova provide the Czech with a deep bench of potential doubles players and singles substitutes. Given Kvitova’s sometimes unpredictable health, this depth is vital. Their deep field also gives the Czech Republic more margin for error than many countries have.
Post Script – Petra’s Hall of Fame Credentials
Petra Kvitova can win enough between now and her eventual retirement to make this discussion moot. However, right now she has a scattered set of excellent results. Do excellent trophies outweigh a lack of consistency? Consider that Petra Kvitova has 2 Wimbledon titles, has a season-ending Tour Finals title, is the first player to win the Tour Finals and the Tour Elite titles, has an olympic bronze medal, has won two Madrid titles, and has been part of 5 winning Federation Cup teams. If Petra is already in the Hall of Fame it is largely because these Federation Cup titles provide an area of consistency in what has otherwise been a career marked by bursts of excellence and patches of inconsistent play. If I had a vote, I would vote yes for Petra to enter the Hall of Fame, but I think all fans would love to see more of her brilliant play and a bit less of her inconsistency in the coming years.