| By New York Tennis Magazine Staff

Tennis Channel will provide exclusive coverage of Russia and the Czech Republic's championship competition in Moscow this weekend, with comprehensive telecasts Saturday, Nov. 5, and Sunday, Nov. 6. Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova will lead the Czech Republic into its first Fed Cup final as an independent nation with a chance to win the 2011 crown. The battle between the 2008 Fed Cup champion Russia and the Czech Republic will consist of two singles matches on Saturday, and two singles matches and the doubles match Sunday. Tennis Channel will carry all matches live, beginning at 2:30 p.m. ET on Saturday and 11:30 a.m. ET on Sunday, followed by same-day encore coverage each evening at 1:00 a.m. ET.

 

 

 

Coverage from Olympic Stadium, Moscow, is as follows (subject to change):

Saturday, Nov. 5

►2:30 p.m. Live Singles #1
►4:30 p.m. Live Singles #2
►1:00 a.m. Instant Encore Singles #2

Sunday, Nov. 6
►11:30 a.m. Live Singles #3
►1:30 p.m. Live Singles #4
►3:30 p.m. Live Doubles
►1:00 a.m. Instant Encore Doubles

Russia and the Czech Republic have faced each other four times in Fed Cup play, with the nations tied at two wins apiece. The most recent competition between the two countries took place in 2001, when the Russian team defeated the Czech Republic 2-1 in Madrid, Spain. Russia enters this weekend's championship for the first time since winning its fourth Fed Cup title in 2008, when it overpowered two-time defending-champion Italy 5-0 in Moscow. Russia dominated the mid-2000s with two sets of separate back-to-back victories in 2004 and 2005, and again in 2007 and 2008.

The Russian squad is captained by the president of the Russian Tennis Federation and a member of the International Olympic Committee, Shamil Tarpischev. Vera Zvonareva, wold number six and runner-up at both the U.S. Open and Wimbledon in 2010, leads the team into the championship. Rounding out the roster is Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, Svetlana Kuznetsova and Maria Kirilenko.

The Czech Republic earned its spot in this weekend's matchup after an impressive 3-2 victory over Belgium in Charleroi, Belgium, to reach its first Fed Cup final. However, the country did win the Fed Cup title five times between 1975 and 1988 while competing as Czechoslovakia. The Czech team is captained by Petr Pala and features Wimbledon champion and world number three Kvitova, Lucie Safarova, Lucie Hradecka and Kveta Peschke.