Fed Cup Final 2014 Czech Republic vs Germany - a preview - UBITENNIS
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Fed Cup

Fed Cup Final 2014 Czech Republic vs Germany – a preview

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TENNIS FED CUP – Germany’s Angelique Kerber and Czech Republic’s Petra Kvitova will lead their respective nations’ hopes in the Fed Cup by BNP Paribas Final on 8-9 November 2014 in Prague.

 

Germany’s Angelique Kerber and Czech Republic’s Petra Kvitova will lead their respective nations’ hopes in the Fed Cup by BNP Paribas Final on 8-9 November 2014 in Prague, being played at the O2 Arena. The surface is hard court (Novacrylic Ultracushion System) and the balls are Wilson Tour Davis Cup (Thailand). The stadium capacity is 10850.

World No. 10 Kerber leads Barbara Rittner’s side into their first Fed Cup Final since 1992 at the venue, with No. 14 Andrea Petkovic, No. 27 Sabine Lisicki and No. 75 Julia Goerges completing a German line-up bursting with singles talent.

Germany makes one change from the team that assured its place in the Final by defeating Australia 3-1 in the World Group semifinals in Brisbane in April, with Sabine Lisicki coming in for doubles specialist Anna-Lena Groenefeld.

Czech Republic, meanwhile, will once again place its faith in Petra Kvitova ahead of its third Fed Cup Final in four years, with the world No. 4 supported by No. 17 Lucie Safarova. The Czechs have also handed a debut nomination to 22-year-old Karolina Pliskova with doubles world No. 22 Lucie Hradecka completing the line-up.

Pliskova has rocketed up the rankings this year, finding herself at a career-high No. 24 in the WTA ladder after winning her second and third career titles in Seoul and Linz in the last two months. While Pliskova has undoubtedly earned her call up on the biggest stage, Kvitova has been a driving force in the Czech team in recent years. She has won three of the four singles rubbers she has contested in Fed Cup Finals to help Petr Pala’s team to the 2011 and 2012 titles, and could well prove the decisive influence again in this year’s Final.

A closely contested Final, or so it appears on paper, should be further complicated by the head-to-head record between Czech Republic and Germany’s leading ladies. Lefthanders Kvitova and Kerber have met five times, and though Kvitova shades their previous meetings 3-2, four of those clashes have gone to three sets including Kvitova’s most recent wins over Kerber at both Tokyo and the WTA Championships in 2013.

Indeed, the two players most likely to take the No. 2 spot for their nations could be set for a similarly fierce contest. Petkovic has won four of her six meetings with lefthander Safarova but the Czech won their last clash on a hard court in a thrilling three sets in Beijing in 2013.

Just one spot separates the two 27-year-olds in the rankings, and both enter the Final on good form. World No. 17 Safarova reached the semifinals in Moscow last month, while Petkovic rebounded from first round losses in Linz and Luxembourg in October to win the WTA Tournament of Champions crown in Sofia, Bulgaria on Sunday.

That said, with two hungry players prepared to step into the second singles spot in Goerges and Lisicki who will be both looking to improve their Fed Cup singles records (4-5 and 5-5, respectively), captain Rittner certainly has options. Should the tie live up to expectations and come down to a deciding doubles, the Czechs can call upon 29-year-old Lucie Hradecka, who has lost just one of her previous five Fed Cup doubles rubbers.

The Czechs, seven time Fed Cup champions, have dominated this match-up in previous years, winning six of the seven encounters between the two nations.

The full team nominations for the Fed Cup Final are:

Czech Republic
Petra Kvitova
Lucie Safarova
Karolina Pliskova
Lucie Hradecka

Germany
Angelique Kerber
Andrea Petkovic
Sabine Lisicki
Julia Goerges

Germany, is bidding to record a third Fed Cup triumph, 22 years after last reigning supreme in the competition in 1992.

Especially Andrea Petkovic impressed one week before the Fed Cup Final as she claimed the WTA Tournament of Champions in Sofia after a hard-fought 1-6, 6-4, 6-3 victory in the final against the Italian Flavia Pennetta. Winning the fifth title in her career might be a perfect dress rehearsal for Petko as she will travel highly confident to Prague where she and Porsche Team Germany will do battle for the Fed Cup crown – much to the pleasure of Barbara Rittner. “She’s got herself out of a sticky patch,” said the Porsche Team Germany captain when talking about Andrea Petkovic’s success. The 27-year old is certain to be the German No. 2 singles player alongside Angelique Kerber. “Her form and self-confidence have come at just the right moment for Prague.”

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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