4 wins in the last 5 years
Czech women tennis players dominate Fed Cup in recent years. In the last 5 years, 4 times Fed Cup was won by the Czech team. The years 2011, 2012, 2014, 2015 were golden years for Czechs, and good times are not at the end. This year final will be played between France and surprisingly the Czech republic again.
Really good generation of players consists of Petra Kvitova (26 years), Lucie Safarova (29), Karolina Pliskova (24), Barbora Strycova (30) and two phenomenal double players Lucie Hradecka (31) and Andrea Hlavackova (30). (also Kveta Peschke contributes to the first title in 2011 in doubles).
And believe there is another set of great players waiting for their chance. Denisa Allertova (23), Katerina Siniakova (20), Kristyna Pliskova (24 – Karolina twin sister), Tereza Martincova (22) just name few of them.
and the base was set in 1998
Where are the roots of this successful generation? Believe it or not, all are born between the years 1985 – 1994. Just in time to have 5 to 13 years in 1997 and 1998 when Jana Novotna was at the top of her career with two final showings in Wimbledon. Novotna was in three Wimbledon finals, in 1993 she lost with Steffi Graf and almost everybody remembers this choke.
Then she recovers and she showed up in her 29s in Wimbledon final again. The year 1997 and she is losing to Martina Hingis. However, this story has a good finish as a good fairy tale. The year 1998 and Jana Novotna finally win Wimbledon beating Natalie Tauziat in 2 sets 6-4 7-6 (both her losses with Graf and Hingis were after 3 sets fight).
So in 1998 Kvitova was 8, Safarova 11, Karolina Pliskova 6 and Strycova 12. I guess, all of them were watching TV and pushing Novotna to finally win Grand Slam. Good timing for girls, years before 1989 there was no chance to watch the Grand Slam final in then Czechoslovakia communist television. However, in 1997 – 1998 there was finally plenty of sports in local broadcasters’ programs. People were eagerly watching all-important sports events and Novotna was one of the first sports tv stars in the Czech republic with wide coverage.
Will it last forever?
So good practice and little extra motivation by seeing someone from the same country reaching the top. That’s it. The Czech team will be a strong competitor in years to come. Just wait another 10-12 years and a new wave of players will be emerging inspired by the current success of the Czech Fed Cup team.