After winning in Charleston, German Andrea Petkovic hopes to defeat the Aussies in Fed Cup semis - UBITENNIS
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Fed Cup

After winning in Charleston, German Andrea Petkovic hopes to defeat the Aussies in Fed Cup semis

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TENNIS – Following a turbulent couple of years Andrea Petkovic won the WTA tournament in Charleston. After breaking into the Top 10 in 2011, Petkovic suffered from a variety of injuries, one happening on her way of recovery during Porsche Tennis Grand Prix. Now, she has definitely set her eyes on reaching this year’s Fed Cup finals with the German team around Barbara Rittner. Simone Kemler

 

I’m going to have champagne and I don’t even drink champagne, but I’m just going to have it for the heck of it in the airplane. I’m going to get drunk I never get drunk on the airplane. That’s what I’m going to do, and I’m going to walk around and dance with the cabin attendants. That’s what I’m going to do.” If you have already had the pleasure to experience Andrea Petkovic in various press-meetings, you know her vibrant, honest and lively of commenting her tennis, that is why it cannot be astonishing to hear her plans after securing her third title on the WTA-tour in Charleston. And it has been a turbulent couple of years for former Top 10 playerAndrea Petkovic. The German took part in an dream week in Charleston, where she defeated fellow-countrywoman Sabine Lisicki, Lucie Safarova, Eugenie Bouchard and Jana Cepelova to lift her third title on the tour and her first since 2011.

After breaking into the Top 10 in 2011, Petkovic suffered from a variety of injuries, one happening on her way of recovery during Porsche Tennis Grand Prix straight in front of her home crowd in Stuttgart. At that time there were many doubts of fans and interested parties that presumed Petkovic having started competing again too early, and as a result of all this, her ranking plummet to a low of No. 177 last March. Now, Petkovic credits her return to her technical developments over the past two years. “I got technically much better after my injuries,” the German said. “You always have to see the good and the bad somehow, and the good thing about my injuries was that I knew I couldn’t rely on my fitness only after all these injuries. I wasn’t able to practice as much as I used to before, so I needed to develop technically, and I needed to develop my game.”

The current world No. 28 recalled the lowest point in her career, the 2013 French Open, where she failed to qualify for the event after losing to a player ranked outside the World Top 160. While she was close to calling it a career on several occasions, she persevered through the trials and tribulations and is thankful to reap the benefits of her hard work. “I think the lowest, lowest, low point was last year at the French Open when I lost second round qualis against a girl that was ranked maybe 160, and I played awful, and that’s when I wanted to stop,” Petkovic said. “Although I also wanted to stop after I lost the match against Giorgi in Indian Wells [this year], so I had a lot of these moments where I wanted to stop playing. But somehow I always kept doing what I did, and I kept not believing, but wanting it, I guess. That’s why I kept working, and I’m very thankful that it paid off in the end.”

Maybe her decisiveness to stick to tennis is a result of her ability to see ‘the big picture of life’. Andrea Petkovic is a bright multi-interested woman, who has for example already made experiences in politics during an internship at the regional government in Hesse. Also Sigmar Gabriel, present Vice-chancellor of Germany is said to be closely acquainted to her and she has repeatedly commented on wanting to play a role in politics and/or German society once she has retired from tennis for good.

But right now, she has definitely set her eyes on reaching this year’s Fed Cup finals with the German team around Barbara Rittner. In the past years Rittner has managed to form a team where several German players like Kerber, Lisicki, Görges, Barthel, Grönefeld and of course Andrea Petkovic press on getting this particular title. During the Easter weekend (19. – 20. April 2014), the ‘girls’ try to overcome the Australian team in their semi-final in Brisbane – of course it is a somewhat extra difficulty to go from the US via Europe all the way to Australia and then straight back to Germany because Porsche Tennis Grand Prix in Stuttgart is waiting. However, the German Fed Cup team is eager to win this rubber and when it comes to Andrea Petkovic: she will give it all, on court herself and off court cheering and supporting the team, if need be until her voice fades.

These are the teams of the Fed Cup tie Australia vs Germany to be held at Queensland Tennis Centre, Brisbane, Australia on outdoor hard-court: Aussie Captain Alicia Molik nominated Sam Stosur, Casey Dellacqua, Ashleigh Barty and Storm Sanders and Barbara Rittner took Angelique Kerber, Andrea Petkovic, Julia Görges and doubles-specialist Anna-Lena Grönefeld.

Fed Cup

After 26 Years Of Heartbreak, Great Britain Finally Secures Fed Cup Promotion

After losing four play-off ties since 2011, the British team have finally scored the breakthrough they desired.

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Johanna Konta (image via https://twitter.com/the_LTA)

A duo of hard fought singles victories in London has made history for British Tennis after the Fed Cup team defeated Kazakhstan to reach the World Group stage for the first time since 1993.

 

Tied at 1-1 after the first day, Johanna Konta and Katie Boulter prevailed in both of their matches to hand Great Britain an overall 3-1 win over their opponents. The proceedings were opened up on Sunday by former top 10 player Konta. Taking on Yania Putintseva, Konta battled to an epic 4-6, 6-2, 7-5 victory. After dropping the opening set, she was then forced to recover from a 1-4 deficit in the decider to score the crucial victory. Putintseva, who was struggling physically during the match, is only the fourth top 50 player Konta has defeated so far in 2019.

“As a young girl, as an athlete wanting to make it to the top of my sport… you can only dream of this stuff.” She said during an interview with BT Sport. “Gosh that was one hell of a match wasn’t it?”

Following on from Konta’s heroics, it was Boulter’s chance to seal an unassailable lead for her country in the tie. Boulter wasn’t born until three years after her country was last in the World Group of the Fed Cup. The 22-year-old was out to seek redemption after squandering three match points on Saturday during her loss to Putintseva.

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This time round Boulter didn’t crumble when under pressure. Like teammate Konta, she roared back from a set down to defeat Zarina Diyas 6-7(1), 6-4, 6-1. Winning 67% of her first service points and breaking her opponent’s serve six times throughout the match.

“I was trying to get one win for the team, Johanna did a great job, I was just trying to make them proud today,” she told BT Sport.
“I showed yesterday how much it meant, I was so close but today I bounced back and got the win.
“We go again!!”

The triumph comes after what has been years of heartbreak for the British camp. Prior to 2019, they have been on the verge of reaching World Group II of the Fed Cup four times in seven years. Only to lose all of their play-off ties. Making their victory over Kazakhstan even more sweeter.

“Amazing. Just a heroic effort from the players this week, some fantastic tennis.” Team captain Anne Keothavong commented.
“Everyone here has been part of our journey and this has been an unforgettable weekend.
“Jo’s effort. coming back from behind, to Katie today. I think they have inspired a lot of people.”

Besides their new status, the contingent of player’s are hoping that their performances will help inspire the next generation. At present, there are five British players in the top 200 on the WTA Tour. Three of which are under the age of 22 (Boulter, Harriet Dart and Katie Swan).

“I hope that we have inspired a lot of kids here (in London) today to play tennis or do whatever they want to do.” Said team member Heather Watson.

It remains to be seen what is next for the Brits with the possibility of the Fed Cup changing its format. From next year there is a chance that the world group could be turned into a 12-team format. If this happened, Britain is likely to make that group thanks to their latest win.

https://twitter.com/the_LTA/status/1120012995508285440

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Fed Cup

Australia Down Belarus In Thriller To End 26-Year Wait For Fed Cup Final

It is joy for the Aussies and heartbreak for Belarus in Brisbane.

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The Australian Fed Cup team (photo via https://twitter.com/FedCup)

The Australian duo of Ashleigh Barty and Sam Stosur has guided their country into the final of the Fed Cup for the first time since 1993 after a dramatic final day of their clash with Belarus.

 

Australia, who last won the team competition back in 1974, was pushed to their limits at the Pat Rafter Arena with the final match of the tie deciding their fate. After day one, they were held at 1-1 by Belarus. A team compromising of two-time grand slam champion Victoria Azarenka and world No.10 Aryna Sabalenka.

Barty gave the home favourites an initial 2-1 advantage after she disposed of Sabalenka 6-2, 6-2. A player who she lost to twice during the second half of the 2018 season. However, Azarenka revived Belarus’ chances immediately with an emphatic 6-1, 6-1, win over tour veteran Stosur. Making it her first victory in the competition since 2016.

With all to play for, it was the doubles match that separated the two. During a roller coaster encounter, Barty and Stosur prevailed 7-5, 3-6, 6-2, over their rivals. Breaking twice in the decider on route to securing the overall 3-2 victory.

“It’s just super-exciting now to be in the Fed Cup final,” Stosur told fedcup.com afterwards. “All the girls, we work so hard throughout the year, and we really stick together as a team, Fed Cup weeks or not Fed Cup weeks. We’ve always got each others back, so to be in the Fed Cup final not I think a great reward for both of us, and we’re going to give it our best shot here in November.”

Team captain Alicia Molik has hailed the performance of her team. This year was the first time Australia has contested a semi-final of the competition since 2014. The country ranks third on the all-time list for more trophies won, but have failed to gain success in recent decades.

“It was just an incredible weekend,” Australian captain Molik reflected.
“We hadn’t exactly planned for it to come to the doubles, yet we were prepared. We got to that position, and I was really pleased today with both the outputs of Ash – it was phenomenal tennis out there – and Sam gave it her best.
“You can just see the joy in our faces too – winning that doubles rubber, what it means. We’re now in the final. I’m just so proud.”

In November’s final Australia will play either France or Romania.

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Fed Cup

Yulia Putintseva Saves Three Match Points To Keep Kazakhstan Alive Against Great Britain

Yulia Putintseva once again brought the drama as she saved Kazakhstan from being 2-0 down against Great Britain.

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Yulia Putintseva (@bbctennis - Twitter)

Yulia Putintseva saved three match points to defeat Katie Boulter 3-6 6-2 7-6(6) and level the tie for Kazakhstan against Great Britain.

 

In a match where there were injuries, passion and lots of drama, Putintseva saved three match points to level the tie for Kazakhstan.

Despite having a 4-0 lead in the deciding set, Boulter couldn’t close out the match as Great Britain are pegged back heading into the second day.

Earlier in the day Johanna Konta edged out Zarina Diyas 4-6 6-3 6-2 to give the hosts the lead in their World Group II Play-Off tie.

It was a good start from the Brit as she timed the ball to perfection as the Kazakh had no answers in the opening set. Two breaks at the end of the set sealed a positive start for Boulter, who was feeding off the crowd’s enthusiasm.

However the second set was a very different story as the Brit struggled with a knee injury as Putintseva took a more aggressive approach to proceedings.

Three games in a row against a cautious Boulter saw the world number 38 force a deciding set, which was sealed by an ace.

The final set saw Boulter time the ball exceptionally well again and overpower forehands with some aggressive forehands.

A 4-0 lead seemingly saw the Brit cruising but back came the controversial Kazakh as she managed to rescue one of the breaks of serve.

In nervy circumstances the world number 86 couldn’t hold her nerve when serving for the match at 5-3 as Putintseva pushed to force a final set tiebreak.

After one match point disappearing in the eleventh game, Boulter remained aggressive to create two more chances to seal the match.

But never count out Putintseva and four points in a row thanks to some gutsy play saw the Kazakh take the match in over two and a half hours as Britain sense an opportunity missed.

https://twitter.com/FedCup/status/1119668714784346112

It is a gutting loss for Britain, who should have a commanding 2-0 lead but instead have been pegged back at 1-1. The match is level after Johanna Konta edged out Zarina Diyas in the first rubber.

After controversy with the Kazakh’s fans trombone and trumpets, the Brit kept her cool to seal a crucial rubber for the hosts.

Tomorrow Johanna Konta will face Yulia Putintseva, with Katie Boulter, if 100%, playing Zarina Diyas. If the singles are once again split, then a deciding doubles rubber will decide the outcome of the tie.

Great Britain are looking to enter the top two tiers of Women’s Tennis for the first time in 28 years.

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