FedCup 2015 - Germany sets out for another 'race' to win title - UBITENNIS
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Fed Cup

FedCup 2015 – Germany sets out for another ‘race’ to win title

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TENNIS FEDCUP 2015 – Last week-end Germany won their first round FedCup 2015 tie 4-1 against Australia in Stuttgart. After losing the 2014 final to the Czech Republic, Barbara Rittner’s team are aiming to bring home the title this year.

 

Some see Stuttgart as one of Germany’s secret strongholds of sport in general and tennis in particular. This refers not only to logistics as i.e. adjacent to Neckarparkstadion and German Bundesliga you’ll find Porsche Arena, which not only hosts the WTA Ladies Event Porsche Tennis Grand Prix in April but has also been home of several FedCup-home ties – but also to the number of high-class tennis events as also the ATP-men’s tournament MercedesCup is staged there.

So during the second weekend of February not only German Soccer Bundesliga was facing the Southern German derby VFB Stuttgart vs Bayern München (which left Pep Guardiola taking three more points back to Munich) but also right next door the German Tennis Ladies played their first FedCup tie this season against Australia. After coming in second in 2014 in a thrilling yet a little disapponting final in Prague, German coach Barbara Rittner and her team were off to secure a good start into this year’s competition. Day one saw as opener the German No. 1 Angelique Kerber with a solid performance against her Australian oponent Jarmila Gajdosova that however was not enough to bring the lead. After two years of injuries and bad luck, Gajdosova showed a brilliant performance in Porsche Arena Stuttgart, thus leaving Kerber unable to come to terms with the pressure and high expectations in her first home-match, so the Australian made it in three sets 4-6 6-2 6-4 – giving her team the lead.

Much to the pleasure of the German fans Angelique Kerber got back to winning ways on Sunday. Much improved when taking on Samantha Stosur in the top match between the two No. 1s, she was in command throughout against the former grand slam champion when winning 6-2 6-4 in front of a 4000 crowd. “I went out onto court and wanted to show that I can do better,” said the Porsche Brand Ambassador. “And with the support of the fantastic crowd, I delivered.”

That the German team was able to go 2-1 up was also and foremost down to Andrea Petkovic. In a nail-biting three-hour tennis thriller, the German overcame Samantha Stosur 6-4 3-6 and 12-10 in the second match on Saturday that way keeping Porsche Team Germany in the running for a semi-final place. “It was one of the matches of my career and one I will have in my head for ever,” Petkovic said after her gala performance on Centre Court in Stuttgart. Congratulated by Steffi Graf from distant Las Vegas, Andrea Petkovic again produced the goods on Sunday, decision day. In another pulsating rubber, she eventually defeated Jarmila Gajdosova 6-3 3-6 8-6 to clinch Germany a place in the semi-final against Russia.

In the final doubles, Germany’s Julia Görges and Sabine Lisicki beat Casey Dellacqua and Olivia Rogowska 6-7 7-6 10-6 and so secured the 4-1 win of the rubber. “I’m incredibly proud of my players,” said team captain Barbara Rittner who went on to thank the Stuttgart crowd for their fantastic support: “We just can’t imagine playing anywhere else.”

So the German FedCup team is well on track, something that cannot be said for the men’s Davis Cup team. Shortly after coming back from the Australian Open, Carsten Arriens was ‘released’ from his post as team-coach. Not even three weeks before their first round tie against France (again in Frankfurt where the whole desaster started last year) the team is pretty much left alone … as so far, a follower into this position could has not been found.

Fed Cup

Fed Cup To Have A New Format From 2020

Details about the changes to the historic competition has been announced.

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Federation Cup (foto via Twitter, @FedCup)

The International Tennis Federation has confirmed that home and away finals will be removed from Fed Cup competition in favour of a week-long tournament taking place in a neutral location.

 

From 2020, the women’s team tournament will follow in the footsteps of the Davis Cup, which underwent a controversial revamp last year. Under the new structure, 12 teams will play in the finals over six days during April. However, home and away ties will still be used in the play-in rounds that will take place during February.

A total of $18 million worth of prize money will be available. The winners of the competition will receive $1.2M for their national federation and an additional $3.2M for players. In comparison, those who reach the group stages will receive $300,000 and $500,000 retrospectively. Overall, $12M will be awarded to players and $6M to national associations.

“The launch of the Fed Cup by BNP Paribas finals will create a festival of tennis that elevates the flagship women’s team competition to a new level, yet remains loyal to the historic core of the Fed Cup.” Said ITF President David Haggerty.
“We have consulted and listened to stakeholders and worked with the WTA and its player council to make sure the new format represents the interests of the players.” He added.

The Hungarian capital of Budapest will be the venue of the newly formatted finals between 2020-2022. It will be held at the László Papp Budapest Sports Arena on two clay courts. The competition will be played in a round-robin format with four groups of three. The winner of each group would then progress to the semi-finals.

Besides the February ties, two countries will be handed wild cards into the finals. Hungary will be one of them and another country is yet to be confirmed. Hungary hasn’t played in the top tier of the competition since 2002. This year’s finalists, Australia and France, have also been given direct entry into the finals.

“Fed Cup has evolved since I was part of the first winning team in 1963 but it has always remained true to its roots.” Said Fed Cup ambassador Billie Jean King.
“These reforms are historic as they reflect the ITF’s commitment to unlocking the Fed Cup huge potential, hosting a competition with prize money deserving of the world’s best women’s teams and players. It is an honour to be part of the next evolution of the greatest event in women’s tennis.”

Not all in favour

Earlier this week Simona Halep confirmed that she will stop playing in the Fed Cup should the format change. Countries like Romania now only have a 50% chance of hosting one Fed Cup tie every year over the next three years.

“I love the Fed Cup and I would never change that,” the former world No.1 told reporters earlier this week.
“If Fed Cup changes I won’t play any more. I like the format now so if they change, it will be tough because Fed Cup means to play home and away.”

Halep’s comments were backed by Karolina Pliskova, who represents the Czech Republic. A team who has won the title six times since 2011. Pliskova played in the final of the competition in 2015 and 2016.

“I think they should not change, because especially for smaller countries like Czech Republic, I think this is something that they always look forward to,” said Pliskova.
“We don’t have many (home) tournaments. We have just one. For Romania, they have maybe one tournament too.
“It’s huge when Simona is playing there. So I understand that if she’s playing somewhere else, you don’t feel the same.”

 

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Fed Cup

Simona Halep Threatens To Boycott Fed Cup If Revamp Takes Place

The 27-year-old has criticised proposals to change the format of the team competition.

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Simona Halep (photo by chryslène caillaud, copyright @Sport Vision)

Former world No.1 Simona Halep has said she will stop playing in the Fed Cup if the International Tennis Federation removes home and away ties from the competition.

 

In recent months there has been speculation that the women’s team event will soon follow the path of the Davis Cup, which has undergone a controversial reform. Where the finals will take place at the end of a year over a week in a neutral location. The driving force behind the changes to the Davis Cup is Kosmos. An investment company founded by Barcelona footballer Gerald Pique. Kosmos has pledged to invest $3 billion over 25 years.

“I love the Fed Cup and I would never change that,” Reuters News quoted Halep as telling reporters in Eastbourne on Monday.
“If Fed Cup changes I won’t play any more. I like the format now so if they change, it will be tough because Fed Cup means to play home and away.”

Halep helped guide Romania to the semi-finals of the Fed Cup this year in what has been their best performance since 1973. Overall, she has won 22 out of 32 matches played since her debut back in 2010.

“To play at home, it’s the best feeling,” she said.
“I’ve played many years in Fed Cup and the best feeling is to be at home with all the people that come to support and also away you have to manage the emotions and the pressure.”

Earlier this month, ITF president Davis Haggerty vowed to revamp the Fed Cup in order to keep it in line with the men’s equivalent. Although he hasn’t outline an exact date as to when this will take place. Haggerty is seeking re-election this year and has outlined his plans in his manifesto.

“Fed Cup reform is a key focus of the Board in 2019, with the ambition to implement a similar Fed Cup World Cup of Tennis with a minimum of 16 teams in the World Group 2020 and to play one round of qualifying and an eight or 12-team Fed Cup Final in April 2020 in one location. This also aligns with the ITF Gender Equality initiative that we introduced in 2018 and continues to ensure tennis is a welcoming sport.” Sport Business quoted Haggerty as saying.

On Thursday an announcement is expected to be made about the future of the Fed Cup by the ITF in a press conference.

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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.

Embed from Getty Images

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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