Tennis

Top Czech player Petra Kvitova to miss Fed Cup against Spain

Petra Kvitova of the Czech Republic hits a return
Sixth-ranked Petra Kvitova is the highest-ranked Czech player.
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PRAGUE (AP)

The Czech Republic will miss its highest-ranked player, Petra Kvitova, in next month's first round of the Fed Cup against Spain because of an illness.

No. 6-ranked Kvitova says in a statement on the team's Facebook page on Sunday that a virus forced her to pull out of the Feb. 8-9 series on an outdoor clay court in Seville.

Barbora Zahlavova-Strycova was called up as a replacement.

Lucie Safarova, Klara Zakopalova and Andrea Hlavackova have also been selected for the Czech team.

The Czechs, winners of the Fed Cup in 2011 and 2012, won their last series against Spain 4-1 in the 2009 first round, but trail the Iberians 2-1 in their head-to-head record.

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