Kvitova to lead Czechs at start of Fed Cup defense

PRAGUE Mon Jan 28, 2013 12:08pm EST

Petra Kvitova of Czech Republic reacts during her women's singles match against Laura Robson of Britain at the Australian Open tennis tournament in Melbourne, January 17, 2013. REUTERS/David Gray

Petra Kvitova of Czech Republic reacts during her women's singles match against Laura Robson of Britain at the Australian Open tennis tournament in Melbourne, January 17, 2013.

Credit: Reuters/David Gray

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PRAGUE (Reuters) - World number eight Petra Kvitova, dumped out in the second round at the Australian Open, will lead the Czech Republic in their Fed Cup title defense when they take on Australia in a first round tie next month.

Czech captain Petr Pala will stick with the same squad that lifted the crown for a second straight year in November, including Lucie Safarova, Andrea Hlavackova and Lucie Hradecka.

"I decided on a proven, winning team," Pala said in a statement.

The Czechs will begin their attempt at a third straight title in front of their home fans in the northeastern city of Ostrava on February 9-10.

(Reporting by Jason Hovet, editing by Mark Meadows)

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