Czechs name interim Davis Cup captain before final

AFP| Last Updated: Nov 11, 2013, 23:12 PM IST

Prague: Reigning champions the Czech Republic picked Vladimir Safarik to replace Davis Cup team captain Jaroslav Navratil for the final in Serbia this weekend, the team said on Monday.

The 56-year-old Navratil, who led the Czechs to the trophy in 2012 with a final win over Spain in Prague, has been hospitalised with a pulmonary embolism.

Safarik, 49, head of the Ceska sportovni sports agency, will lead the team temporarily in the November 15-17 final on the hardcourt of the Belgrade Arena.

A former tennis player himself, "Vladimir has been with the team for more than 15 years, he has experience, speaks great English... and the boys respect him," Navratil said on the team`s Facebook page.

The Czech team will be made up of world number six Tomas Berdych, Lukas Rosol (world number 43), Radek Stepanek (45) and Jan Hajek (105).

Serbia have named world number two Novak Djokovic, 36th ranked Janko Tipsarevic and doubles specialists Ilija Bozoljac and Nenad Zimonjic.

The Czechs will be playing in a third final in five years after defeating Argentina 3-2 in the semi-finals while 2010 champions Serbia saw off Canada by the same score in Belgrade.