- The Fed Cup final is this weekend, and the US has a shot to win
- Doing so will mean beating a heavily favored Czech team
The final round of the Fed Cup starts this weekend at the O2 Arena in Prague. The US team will face off against home favorites Czech Republic, who feature the best doubles squad in the world and a top 10 singles player.
2018 Fed Cup Odds
|Team||Bovada Fed Cup Odds|
The Czech Republic is heavily favored, as they field the #7 singles player in the world (Petra Kvitova)and the #1 doubles squad in the world.
Can the US Score an Upset?
In all likelihood, no. The Czech team just has too much talent, specifically singles talent, for the US team to stand a realistic chance of winning. Petra Kvitova is an absolutely top-level singles player, currently ranked seventh in the world.
The US’s only path to victory relies on a huge performance by Sofia Kenin and an upset in either the doubles match or one of the singles matches. Tennis Elo figures she has the best chance of beating Kvitova on hard courts, at a thoroughly manageable 42.1%.
That number jumps to 58.6% for a rubber against Katerina Sinakova, and 57.1% against Barbora Strycova. Kenin can score in the both of her singles matches, but it might not matter if the chalk holds in the doubles match and the other singles match.
Czech Republic vs USA Matchups
|Petra Kvitova (7th)||Singles 1||Danielle Rose Collins (36th)|
|Barbora Strycova (33rd)||Singles 2||Sofia Kenin (52nd)|
|Katerina Siniakova (1st)||Doubles||Alison Riske (317th)|
|Barbora Krejcikova (1st)||Doubles||Nicole Melichar (15th)|
Fortunately for the US, Kenin is on the rise. She’s notched two top 10 wins this year, against Caroline Garcia and Julia Gorges. She’s proved particularly good on hard courts, and may very well have what it takes to beat Kvitova. They’ve met just once before, in Miami, in a match that went to three sets and was by all account a grinder.
Fortunately for the US, Kenin is on the rise. She’s notched two top 10 wins this year, against Caroline Garcia and Julia Gorges.
Altogether the US is fielding a younger team, one with some obvious talent and promise but not nearly as established as the Czech squad. They can score an upset, if everything goes right on Czech home turf, but it would certainly be an upset. I might consider taking +450 and hoping that young talent comes through, but I’m not sure.