Fed Cup 2015: Semifinals Preview - UBITENNIS
Connect with us

Focus

Fed Cup 2015: Semifinals Preview

Published

on

TENNIS – The two semifinals of the 2015 Fed Cup will be held on a very busy tennis weekend which also features the Play-offs. Sochi will play host to the semifinal between Germany and Russia, while Czech Republic will play at home in Ostrava against France. The other highlight of the weekend will be Serena Williams’ appearance for the USA against Italy in the Play-Off match in Brindisi Diego Sampaolo

Sochi will host the Fed Cup semifinal between four time champions from Russia and last year’s semifinal from Germany.

Unfortunately Russia will be without Maria Sharapova who picked up a leg injury in Miami. Russian captain Anastasya Myskina can rely on a strong team which features Svetlana Kuznetsova and Anastasya Pavlyuchenkova who will face Julia Georges and Sabine Lisicki respectively in their first rubber matches on Saturday. German captain Barbara Rittner picked Georges and Georges for Saturday’s opening matches instead of Andrea Petkovic and Angelique Kerber who played in Charleston last week. The German team could have a chance to reach their second consecutive Fed Cup final after losing last November to Czech Republic. Germany has three players in the top-20. Lisicki performed well in Indian Wells and Kerber won the Charleston title. Germany has not won the Fed Cup title for 22 years and they have the chance to end a long drought this year.

Petkovic and Kerber are expected to team up in the doubles against Elena Vesnina and Vera Zvonareva.

Ostrava will host the other semifinal between defending champions from Czech Republic and France. Petra Kvitova, who contributed to last year’s triumph against Germany, will make her come-back after a two-month break due to exhaustion. The 2014 Wimbledon champion will face Kristina Mladenovic in the second rubber match. Twenty-one year-old Mladenovic upset Kvitova for a straight set win the quarter finals at the Paris Indoor Open in 2013.

“I am feeling better than better. I hope that the break helped me. I hope I am going to be ready.Every practice has been perfect. The match is always different but I hope it is going to be smooth”, said Kvitova.

Lucie Safarova, last year’s Wimbledon semifinalist, will take on Caroline Garcia in the first rubber match. Garcia has always performed well in Fed Cup matches winning six of her seven rubbers. Karolina Pliskova is expected to team up with Barbora Strykova in the doubles match against Alizé Cornet and Pauline Parmentier.

Last February France recovered from 0-2 down after the first day to upset Italy in the first round of the World Group with 3-2. Mladenovic’s s win over Sara Errani in Genua is one of the main possible reasons behind the choice made by French captain Amelie Mauresmo to opt for Mladenovic instead of Alizé Cornet.

One the highlights of the weekend will be Serena Williams’ appearance in the Fed Cup Play-Off between the USA and Italy in Brindisi, the home town of Italian star Flavia Pennetta.

Williams will open her European clay season against Camila Giorgi who has been chosen by Italian captain Corrado Barazzutti instead of home favourite Flavia Pennetta. Williams defeated Giorgi in their only match in 2013 but Giorgi is in good form as she reached her second consecutive final in Katowice last week.

“Clay is my favourite surface. My clay court game feels great. After Miami I started working out because clay court season is right there. I have been practicing and getting ready for this”, said Williams

In the second singles rubber Lauren Davis will meet 2012 Roland Garros finalist Sara Errani. Davis has replaced Venus Williams who pulled out earlier this week.

Christina McHale and Alison Riske have been name by US captain Mary Jo Fernandez for the doubles match against home favourite Flavia Pennetta and Karin Knapp.

Italy and the USA have met four times in the past six years. These two teams played two consecutive finals in 2009 and 2010. Italy won all these four head-to-head matches but the US team lead 9-4 in all 13 matches.

In the Play-offs teams will fight for a spot in next year’s World Group.

The other news story is the come-back of Swiss legend Martina Hingis who will make her first appearance in a Fed Cup match since 1998 playing her first competitive esingles match since 2007 when Switzerland will play against Poland in the Play-off match. She was drawn against Agniewska Radwanska in the opening singles match on Saturday.

Hingis has decided to play in the Fed Cup in order to be eligible for next year’s Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro. Hingis, who plays regularly in the circuit in doubles tournaments, will make her appearance in the singles but she has ruled out a return to singles tournaments in the WTA circuit in the future. Hingis is seeking a partner for the mixed doubles tournament next year at the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro and has approached both Roger Federer and Stan Wawrinka as potential partners for what could be a fascinating doubles mixed team.

Former Number 1s Ana Ivanovic and Jelena Jankovic and Alexandra Krunic will lead 2012 Fed Cup finalist Serbia against Paraguay in Novi Sad in their attempt to return to the World Group. The Spanish team who suffered the withdrawals of their top star Carla Suarez Navarro and Garbine Muguruza will face a tough test against Argentina in Buenos Aires. Eugenie Bouchard will lead Canada in her home city Montreal in the Play-off match against Romania which will be without Simona Halep but will rely on strong players like Irina Camelia Begu and Alexandra Dulgheru.

Continue Reading
Click to comment

Focus

Tommy Paul Downs Lorenzo Musetti Wins Maiden Grass Court Title At Queen’s Club

Tommy Paul is the new American number one!

Published

on

(@TheTennisLetter - Twitter)

Tommy Paul has won his maiden grass court title at Queen’s Club after defeating Lorenzo Musetti 6-1 7-6(8).

The fifth seed was too good for the Italian who never really got going as Paul claimed his first title at ATP 500 level.

It was Paul’s third ATP title of his career and moves to world number 12 after an impressive week.

Heading into the final, Paul had beaten Jack Draper and Sebastian Korda and the American continued his red-hot form in the opening set.

Incredible movement on the grass as Paul played efficient counter-attacking tennis as he frustrated Musetti early on.

The American secured the early break for a 3-0 lead as the world number 13 dictated with power and touch.

Looking for a response, Musetti aimed to dictate play on the backhand and the Italian’s serve was firing in the next game as he secured his only hold of the match.

However, Paul was too consistent and solid as the American broke again and would soon win the opening set 6-1.

In the second set, Musetti started more positively as he was more proactive and aggressive as he looked to control his power more.

Paul managed to outlast Musetti’s early power to keep moving the Italian about and creating angles to hit winners into.

After a controlled start, Musetti produced a reckless seventh game as erratic unforced errors saw Paul break for a 4-3 lead.

The American was calm and collected for the majority of the match but when serving for the match Paul faltered under pressure.

Too many missed first serves saw Musetti with an opportunity to break back and the Italian didn’t need a second invitation as a crisp backhand return winner sealed the break back to level the set at 5-5.

An inspired Musetti applied pressure on Paul with some phenomenal hitting from the baseline as he secured consistent winners.

The American held his nerve to force a second set tiebreak as the American looked to overcome some jitters.

It looked like Musetti was going to cruise to the tiebreak but the Italian squandered a 4-1 lead in what was a highly entertaining tiebreak.

In the end Paul would win the tiebreak 10-8 and secure his first ATP 500 title as well as becoming the new American number one.

Continue Reading

Focus

Jannik Sinner Wins Maiden Grass-Court Title In Halle

Published

on

Jannik Sinner - Parigi 2024 (foto X @ATPTour_ES)

Jannik Sinner has reached another milestone in his blossoming career after claiming his first title on grass at the Terra Wortmann Open in Halle. 

The world No.1 ousted fifth seed and doubles partner Hubert Hurkacz 7-6(8), 7-6,(2), in a tightly contested encounter. Sinner was sternly tested by the big-hitting Pole who knocked French Open finalist Alexander Zverev out of the tournament on Saturday. Nevertheless, he managed to come out on top to become only the eighth player in PIF ATP ranking history to claim a trophy in his first tournament as world No.1.

“This means a lot,” Sinner told TennisTV. “It was a tough match against Hubi. I knew that I had to serve really well. You play only a couple of really important points throughout the whole set. I tried to produce in the best possible way in the important moments. 
“I’m very happy about this tournament because it’s my first time winning (a title) on a grass court. It’s a good feeling.”

Proceedings got underway with a 53-minuite opening set which saw no breaks of serves during the first 12 games played. However, each player had one opportunity to do so during the early stages. In the tiebreak, Sinner continued to be troubled by Hurkacz after failing to maintain a 5-2 lead. Then at 6-5, he was unable to convert his first set point due to an ace from his opponent. He missed a second opportunity to do so before prevailing on his third by hitting a shot deep to the baseline that his rival returned into the net. Making Sinner the first player to take a set off Hurkacz this week. 

It was a case of deja vu in the second frame with both players standing strong behind their serve. Hurkacz was unable to find a way to break but he did win over the crowd after hitting a fantastic over-the-shoulder passing shot without looking to win a point. 

Meanwhile, Sinner continued to weather the storm as he closed in on victory. The second tiebreaker saw him capitalised on back-to-back unforced errors from his rival en route to a 5-1 lead. Two points later he earned his first match point with the help of another costly mistake from across the court before closing the match out with ease.

Sinner’s latest victory is only the second time he has beaten a top 10 player on the grass with his first triumph being against Carlos Alcaraz at Wimbledon two years ago. He is also the second player to win Halle whilst ranked No.1 in the world after Roger Federer. 

Heading into Wimbledon, the 22-year-old has won four ATP trophies so far this season on three different surfaces. He has now won 38 out of his last 41 matches played. 

“I’m looking forward to it,” Sinner said of the next Grand Slam. “Last year I made the semis and played some good tennis. So let’s see what’s coming this year. 
“For sure I’m more confident on this surface. Obviously, the grass here (in Halle) might be a bit different to Wimbledon but I have a week to prepare so hopefully it is going to be a good tournament.”

Sinner is the 17th active male player to win a tour-level title on all three surfaces. 

Continue Reading

Focus

(VIDEO) Jannik Sinner And Lorenzo Musetti Create Italian Grass Court History

Italian tennis keeps getting stronger as Jannik Sinner and Lorenzo Musetti make more history on grass.

Published

on

(@TheTennisLetter - Twitter)

Jannik Sinner and Lorenzo Musetti created Italian grass court history by becoming the first Italians to reach ATP grass court finals in the same week.

The world number one, Jannik Sinner, overcame Zhizhen Zhang in straight sets to reach the final in Halle.

It’s Sinner’s best ever performance at Halle and will now face doubles partner Hubert Hurkacz for the title on Sunday.

Meanwhile at Queen’s Club Lorenzo Musetti reached his second ATP 500 final with victory over Jordan Thompson in three sets.

It’s Musetti’s third ATP final of his career and his first ATP 500 final since 2022 where he beat Carlos Alcaraz in the Hamburg final.

Ubitennis founder Ublado Scanagatta reflects on the historic achievements by Sinner and Musetti and the impact it could have on the whole pyramid of Italian tennis.

Continue Reading

Trending