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.
Great Britain To Play Billie Jean King Cup Finals After Glasgow Picked As Host Nation
The UK will stage the finale of the women’s biggest team tennis event for the first time in over 30 years.
The International Tennis Federation has selected Glasgow as the host nation of this year’s Billie Jean King Cup Finals following a successful bid from the British LTA.
A total of 12 nations will participate in the six-day event which will be held between November 8-13 at the Emirates Arena. A facility originally built for the 2014 Commonwealth Games that has since staged various events, including Davis Cup ties. It has a seating capacity of roughly just over 8000 people. This year’s finals will be held on indoor hardcourts.
It is only the fourth time Britain has staged the finals of the tournament which was previously known as the Fed Cup. It was previously held in London 1963, Eastbourne 1977 and Nottingham 1991.
“We are delighted to be bringing the 2022 Billie Jean King Cup by BNP Paribas Finals to Glasgow. The LTA presented a very impressive bid as part of a competitive hosting process. They have successfully hosted Davis Cup ties in Glasgow, and we look forward to having the women’s World Cup of Tennis take place in front of passionate tennis fans from around the world in an electric atmosphere, at the culmination of the women’s tennis season.” ITF President David Haggerty said in a statement.
Great Britain automatically qualifies for the final as they are the hosts. They will be joined by Australia, Belgium, Canada, Czech Republic, Italy, Kazakhstan, Poland, Spain, Slovakia, Switzerland and USA. The format of the round-robin event will see the teams split into four groups of three. The will of each group will then progress to the knockout stages.
“This is a fantastic opportunity to build the profile of women’s tennis and focus attention on women’s sport. The entire team are very excited about playing in front of a home crowd and hearing some loud support across the whole week.” British captain Anne Keothavong commented.
The Russian Tennis Federation won the tournament last year but they will not be allowed to participate this year. Russian and Belarussian teams have been suspended from taking part in ITF team events as the result of the Ukraine war. Russia launched a ‘special military’ operation on February 24th and Belarus is suspected of supporting them.
The draw for the Billie Jean King Cup finals will take place at a later date.
Emma Raducanu Believes Clay Could Be ‘One Of Her Strongest’ Surfaces
The world No.12 is yet to play a Tour event on the clay but she has high hopes for the future.
US Open champion Emma Raducanu may still be relatively new to the WTA Tour but she believes the upcoming clay swing could help provide her with the foundations to shine on the surface.
Raducanu, who made her WTA debut last June, is yet to play a Tour event on the clay. In fact, she has never played a senior event of any kind on the surface. However, during her junior event she played in nine clay tournaments between 2016-2018, including the 2018 girls French Open where she lost in the second round to Denmark’s Clara Tauson.
Despite her lack of experience, the Brit remains confident that she will be able to thrive on the surface. Speaking to reporters ahead of her country’s Billie Jean Cup tie with the Czech Republic, which will take place on clay, Raducanu believes her love for sliding on the court will help her in the coming years.
“I feel this could be one of my strongest surfaces going forward but of course it’s early days right now,” she said.
“I feel like I have got a lot more potential physically. And I do enjoy sliding. So, after spending more time on this surface, I’m sure I’ll time it better and learn more about the surface but also just the time that the clay brings. I feel like I can really use it and play aggressive.”
Since her breakthrough run at the US Open last September, Raducanu has struggled to maintain her form with a series of disappointing results. So far this season the rising star has managed to win just two out of seven matches played. Four out of her five losses were to players ranked outside the world’s top 50.
Part of the problem for the 19-year-old has been her own body. She has suffered from a hip injury which forced her to retire from a match in Mexico earlier this year and has also been hindered by blisters. Furthermore, Raducanu revealed that she has also lost all of her toenails. Prompting British team captain Anne Keothavong to joke that everybody is ‘a little bit scared’ by her toes.
“I have no toenails,” Raducanu stated.
“It was just my foot, my shoes, they’ve just been sliding around a lot [in the shoe].
“I had a small niggle in Miami but now I have no physical thing.”
Raducanu will be hoping to lead her country to victory in their Billie Jean King Cup tie which will be held in Prague. It will be the first time she has ever played in the event.
“I love playing as a team, especially the team we’ve got here,” she said.
“I feel like everyone has been a lot of fun and there’s been a great connection off court, whether that’s playing murder mystery games or cornhole, we’re definitely bonding and gelling very well.”
Raducanu is the only top 20 player participating in the tie.
Great Britain Handed Tough Billie Jean King Cup Qualifiers Draw Against Czech Republic
Great Britain have a tough test in the Czech Republic in the BJK Cup qualifiers in April.
Great Britain will need to beat the Czech Republic away if they want to qualify for next year’s Billie Jean King Cup Finals after the draw was made today.
Anne Keothavong’s team beat Mexico earlier in the year to earn a place in the qualifiers next year.
However in today’s draw, Great Britain will need to overcome a huge test as they will go to the Czech Republic next April.
Czech Republic have won six of the last nine Billie Jean King Cups and boast the likes of Karolina Pliskova, Barbora Krejcikova, Marketa Vondrousova, Katarina Siniakova and Petra Kvitova.
Speaking after the draw Keothavong is looking forward to the test that awaits them in April, “The team are really looking forward to taking on Czech Republic in our 2022 qualifier and hopefully continuing our momentum in the Billie Jean King Cup next year,” she told skysports.com.
The Czechs are currently hosting this year’s finals and fell at the semi-final stage after losing a tight match to Switzerland.
Other key matches sees a repeat of this year’s group stage match between Belgium and Belarus while USA will host Elina Svitolina’s Ukraine team.
Here are the ties with the qualifiers taking place on the 15-16th of April next year with the finals happening next November:
Czech Republic v Great Britain
Australia v Slovakia
France v Italy
USA v Ukraine
Belarus v Belgium
Germany v Kazakhstan
Canada v Latvia
Spain v Netherlands
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