Russia wins dramatic match against Germany to set the final against Czech Republic - UBITENNIS
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Russia wins dramatic match against Germany to set the final against Czech Republic

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TENNIS – Andrea Petkovic  and Angelique Kerber helped Germany recover from 0-2 down to draw level to 2-2 against Russia in Sochi thanks to their wins in their reverse rubber singles matches. Diego Sampaolo

 

Petkovic , who replaced Sabine Lisicki, eased past  Svetlana Kuznetsova 6-2 6-1 thanks to 20 winners in 1 hours and 21 minutes despite tiredness.

“I don’t what would have happened if it would have gone three sets. it was very difficult, and even though it was a short match, I didn’t feel great during the match physically”, said Petkovic

Angelique Kerber, who replaced Julia Georges for the second singles reverse rubber, took just 52 minutes to sweep aside Anastasya Pavlyuchenkova 6-1 6-0 thanks to a perfect match in which she hit 21 winners.

Russia secured their decisive 3-2 point by winning the decisive doubles match. Elena Vesnina and Anastasya Pavlyuchenkova beat Andrea Petkovic and Sabine Lisicki in straight sets

“It was an unbelievable victory and we are so excited and I am so proud of my team. The whole team worked so hard and I just want to thank my captain as she was amazing and helped us so much”, said doubles specialist Vesnina, who is ranked seventh in the WTA doubles ranking.

Vesnina and Pavlyuchenkova got a break in the fifth game  en route to winning the first set with 6-2. Lisicki dropped her serve in the second set. The Russian team sealed the win with another break in the ninth game

Russia will take on Czech Republic in the final which will be played on Czech soil. The Czech team will be bidding to win their four Fed Cup Trophy in five years.  Moscow hosted the previous final between these two countries in 2011 when Czech Republic triumphed. Russia will play in their 8th final in the last 15 years.The Russian team are bidding to win their first Fed Cup title since 2008

Petra Kvitova won the first Sunday’s reverse rubber securing Czech Republic the decisive point for 3-0 against France in Ostrava. Kvitova beat Caroline Garcia 6-4 6-4 in one hour and 32 minutes.

Kvitova broke serve in the third game of the opening game  after Garcia hit her backhand into the net. Garcia broke back to draw level to 3-3 after a long game.  Kvitova got another break with a backhand pass before serving out for the set.

Kvitova got a double break topull away to 4-1.  Kvitova failed to serve out for the match at 5-2 in the second set when she hit her forehand wide allowing Garcia to recover one of the two breaks.  Kvitova converted on her first match point  in her next service game with her passing forehand winner to the delight of the crowd in CEZ Arena in Ostrava.

Fed Cup Play-Offs:Williams fights back from a set down to edge Errani:

Serena Williams came back from a set down to battle past Sara Errani with 4-6 7-6 (7-3) 6-3 in three sets on a windy day to give the US team a 2-1 lead over Italy in the Fed Cup Play Off in Brindisi.

Local favourite Flavia Pennetta drew level to 2-2 with her 6-1 6-1 win over Christina Mchale in just 56 minutes to the delight of home fans and her family. Thanks to her win Pennetta forced the match to the decisive doubles rubber

Williams never lost in her previous seven head-to-head matches against Errani who won just four games in their previous two matches but this time she had to fight hard when she went down a set and a break in the second set . Errani served for the match at 6-4 5-4 but Williams bounced back forcing the match to the tie-break where she raced to a 6-1 lead forcing the match to the third set.

Both players traded breaks in the first four games of the decider en route to 3-3. Williams then took control of the match winning the next three games. She closed out to love on her first match point in the final game to clinch the win with 6-3. With this win Williams extended her winning streak in Fed Cup matche s

“I really struggled in the wind on both sides. I don’t know what side was worse for me. I am able to adjust and it’s a little disappointing that I wasn’t able to adjust sooner. Today has been a big eye-opener. I need to go home and really train. I am not totally as ready for clay-court season as I thought I was”, said Williams

 Italy secured the spot in the World Group with a win in the final doubles match. Flavia Pennetta and Sara Errani eased past Serena Williams and Allison Riske. Italy beat the US team for the fifth time in a row.

Pennetta and Errani raced out to 5-0 lead in the first set in just 17 minutes. In the second set Italy faced a tougher opposition but they rallied from a break down before breaking  in the seventh game for 4-3 en route to winning the mathc with 6-3.

Pennetta was the heroine of the day with her 14th consecutive match win in the Fed Cup.

“It’s something really special in my career. I tried everything that I could and everything was working pretty good”, said Pennetta.

“We beat the United States with Serena Williams and Serena played all three matches. We are happy for this victory. We really don’t deserve to go in the second division”, said Italian captain Corado Barazzurri

Timea Baczinsky and Victoria Golubic won the 2-6 6-4 9-7 win in the decisive doubles runner securing a spot in next year’s World Group for Switzerland who prevailed with 3-2 over Poland in Zielona Gora.

Martina Hingis was leading 6-4 5-2 in the second set against Urszula Radwanska but she felt fatigue and suffered from cramps allowing the Pole to recover and win the second set with 7-5. Hingis went down 1-4 in the decider and had to take a seven-minute break because of severe cramps. Radwanska clinched the win with 4-6 7-5 6-1.  Hingis, who was playing her first Fed Cup match since 1998, was expected to play the doubles but she was forced to withdraw because of the injury and was replaced by Golubic.

Baczinsky won both singles matches and the doubles securing three points. On Sunday the Swiss player eased past World Number 9 Agniewska Radwanska 6-1 6-1.

The Netherlands made their return for the first time since 1998 to the World Group with a 3-1 win over Australia. Aranxta Rus fought back from a bagel loss in the first set to beat Jarmila Gajdosova with 0-6 7-5 7-5. Earlier in the day Kiki Bertens secured the 2-1 point with a 6-2 6-3 win over Casey Dellacqua.

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Fed Cup

Fed Cup Finals And Play-Offs Postponed Due to Coronavirus Concerns

The Fed Cup Finals and play-offs have been postponed due to fears over the Coronavirus.

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April’s Fed Cup Finals and play-offs have been postponed due to current health concerns associated with the coronavirus. 

 

Today’s announcement comes hours after the Hungarian government announced a ban on any indoor events which has more than 1000 people in it.

The Fed Cup finals were due to take place between the 14th and 19th of April in Budapest but the increasing amount of cases around the world and 13 in Hungary left the ITF with no choice.

In addition, April’s play-offs have also been postponed and will be moved to a later date, with the ITF finding away to solve the problem around eligibility for the summer’s Olympic games.

Speaking on the announcement, ITF President David Haggerty expressed his disappointment but insisted health is more important, “We are extremely disappointed to have to make this decision, but we will not risk the safety and welfare of players, captains, event staff or spectators,” Haggerty said.

“This decision has not been made lightly; the threat posed by the COVID-19 is a serious one and calls for us to act responsibly as a federation and as human beings. This situation goes beyond sport.

“New dates for the Finals and for the Play-offs will be announced in due course and will primarily be guided by the length of time that tennis as a whole is affected by COVID-19. We will continue to collaborate with our colleagues across the sport to ensure that the impact on players, tournaments, rights holders and fans is as minimal as possible.”

The Fed Cup Finals and play-offs are the second tennis event to be postponed because of the coronavirus after the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells was cancelled a couple of days ago.

Currently the Miami Open is set to go ahead although there is a big chance that this tournament could also be cancelled.

The ATP and WTA tournament at the Hard Rock Stadium is set to start on Monday the 25th of March.

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Fed Cup

Fed Cup Finals Draw: Australia And Czech Republic Given Tricky Tests In Budapest

Australia and Czech Republic have been handed difficult draws for the Fed Cup Finals in Budapest in April.

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Australia and Czech Republic have been given tricky draws ahead of the inaugural Fed Cup Finals in Budapest. 

 

The event in Hungary takes place on the 14th-19th of April on clay to prepare players for the clay-court season that will approach.

In the inaugural event there are 12 nations competing for the Fed Cup title with the four group winners advancing to the semi-finals.

Ahead of April’s Fed Cup finale, the draw was announced today which has seen some mouth-watering matches set to take place.

Last year’s finalist’s Australia are in Group B and they have been given tricky tests against a strong Belarus team and Belgium.

Belarus have Aryna Sabalenka, Aliaksandra Sasnovich and Victoria Azarenka at their disposal while Belgium will be lead by Elise Mertens.

Meanwhile the other group in their half of the draw will see Czech Republic will face tough tests against Germany and a Switzerland team lead by Belinda Bencic.

On the other side of the draw, defending champions France will look to successfully defend their title when they face Russia and hosts Hungary.

Given the scenarios, this is a fairly good draw for France who would regard clay as their strongest surface and are favourites to make the last four.

In the last four, France could play USA who have been drawn with Spain and Slovakia who beat Great Britain in last weekend’s qualifiers.

Here is the full draw with the full round-robin schedule for April’s finals set to be released on Monday:

Group A

France

Russia

Hungary

Group B

Australia

Belarus

Belgium

Group C

USA

Spain

Slovakia

Group D

Czech Republic

Germany

Switzerland

Semi-Finals

Winner of Group A v Winner of Group C

Winner of Group B v Winner of Group D

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Fed Cup

Great Britain Handed Mexican Away Trip In Fed Cup Play-Off Draw

Great Britain face another away tie as they travel to Mexico in the Fed Cup Play-Offs.

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Harriet Dart and Anne Keothavong (@the_LTA - Twitter)

Great Britain have been handed an away trip to Mexico in the Fed Cup Play-Off draw as they look to compete in next year’s qualifiers. 

 

The Brits, who were without Johanna Konta in their 3-1 defeat away to Slovakia, will now head to Mexico in April looking to avoid being relegated to Zone Group I.

Just like their tie in Bratislava, they are likely to be without Johanna Konta who has one eye on the Olympic Games and also like their tie this past weekend the tie will probably be on clay.

However this time the British team will be favourites to make next year’s Fed Cup qualifiers as the Mexican don’t have a single Women’s singles player in the top 200.

There will be eight Fed Cup play-offs which will be played on the 17th and 18th of April, with the eight winners joining eight teams from the Fed Cup finals.

14 of the 16 teams are confirmed with the Asia/Oceania Zone Group I still needed to be played in early March in Dubai after the Coronavirus epidemic meant that China couldn’t host the event in February.

Here is the full Fed Cup play-off draw:

(C) = Choice of Ground 

Brazil v Poland (C)

Great Britain v Mexico (C)

Canada v Serbia (C)

Latvia (C) v Asia/Oceania Nation TBC

Japan (C) v Ukraine

Romania (C) v Italy

Kazakhstan v Argentina (C)

Netherlands (C) v Asia/Oceania Nation TBC

 

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