The star-studded Czech Republic team led by Thailand Open champion Nicole Vaidisova arrived in Bangkok yesterday to get ready for their Fed Cup World Group II tie against Thailand this weekend.
World No 15 Vaidisova will spearhead the European side, which consists of world No 33 Klara Koukalova and No 45 Iveta Benesova against a fragile local team without ace player Tamarine Tanasugarn.
Vaidisova , a product of the Nick Bolettieri academy who will turn 17 on Sunday, has pinned her hopes on a victory over Thailand and a ticket to play in the World Group I play-offs in July.
"I feel bad to say it, but we have a good chance to win here. I'm glad to be back here again,'' said the teenager, who won one of her five career titles in Bangkok last October on the same courts at the Rama Gardens Hotel, the venue for the tie on Saturday and Sunday.
"I don't think I'll have a problem with the conditions because I won here last year,'' added the top Czech player, who completed a hat-trick of victories by winning three successive trophies in Seoul, Tokyo and Bangkok.
Barbora Strycovam, ranked No 202 in the world, is the fourth player in the Czech team which has Thomas Petera as captain. The team lost to Italy 3-2 in the play-offs last year.
Top Thai women's player Tamarine has decided to play in Mexico this week in her campaign to return to the top 100, so Thailand will depend on less experienced players like Suchanan Viratprasert, Napaporn Tongsalee, Monthinee Tangphong and Nudnida Luangnam. None are ranked in the top 150.
Both teams will hold pre-draw press conferences at the venue today, while the draw will be done on Thursday evening.
Good luck Thailand