Fed Cup Day 1 Match Report: Slovak Republic 1-1 Australia - UBITENNIS
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Fed Cup Day 1 Match Report: Slovak Republic 1-1 Australia

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After a scare from Rodionova, Schmiedlova managed to turn the match around from 5-7 1-4 and get the first point for Slovakia. Stosur did not let Cepelova to upset her and took a lead in their H2H. 

The match to start of the tie in Bratislava, Slovakia was Anna Schmiedlova and the Russian born Arina Rodionova. Rodionova was one of the bigger stories during the off-season, when she played the final of the Australian Open Wild Card Play-off, and got married later that dAnna+Karolina+Schmiedlova+2015+Wuhan+Open+ICqWcAD-jSElay. Schmiedlova was coming into this match as a huge favorite, being ranked more than 230 places higher in the rankings than her opponent. Schmiedlova came out well, she was dictating the rallies and was up 2-0. Then Rodionova started attacking Schmiedlova’s second serve, sometimes even coming to the net from it. Rodionova started to
play better and better, which was surprising for Schmiedlova and everybody else. If you didn’t know Rodionova’s ranking, you would have thought that she is a Top 50 player. Rodionova played a lot of slices, keeping Schmiedlova behind the baseline, Rodionova was making many unexpected drop shots, masking them really well, and her doubles experience was a guarantee of great net play that she was showing. Add to that Schmiedlova’s struggle on serve and you got yourself a possible upset. Rodionova kept exploiting that second serve, resulting in Schmiedlova winning only 35% of her second set points and being very nervous. After the Australian breaking, she was serving for the first set at 5-4. Then it was evident that she doesn’t have that killer instinct that comes with experience, and allowed Schmiedlova to get to 5-5. Once again a terrible service game from Schmiedlova, getting broken by Rodionova. This time Rodionova managed to serve it out, and after a game filled with long beautiful rallies, the World No. 259 Arina Rodionova was leading 7-5 over N0. 29, Anna Karolina Schmiedlova.

Rodionova got off to a good start in the second set as well, breaking the Slovak’s serve in the first game, and holding in the second. At this point, Rodionova was in an amazing zone, playing what was possibly the best matcArina+Rodionova+2016+Australian+Open+Qualifying+BrfYOuKlitNlh of her life at her Fed Cup debut. Schmiedlova started serving better, putting her first serve in more, but Rodionova was just unbeatable, not giving Schmiedlova any chances. A very long game was played at 1-3 on Schmiedlova’s serve. Schmiedlova defended her serve for long, kept fighting on, fencing off the break points until Rodionova finally ended the game, confirming the 6th break point. At this point Rodionova’s up a set and 4-1 in the second, also she is going to serve. It looks like it’s the end for the Slovak’s chances. But Schmiedlova didn’t give up, took the break back. In her service game she was up 40-15, but then her first serve went out, started struggling again and got under pressure, but in the end managed to win her service game and get to 3-4. With Schmiedlova showing some great returns, she managed to break back again and get back in the second set. Schmiedlova surprisingly got 4 games in a row and went from being down 1-4 with two breaks to 5-4. Rodionova really had to defend her serve hard, saving 3 set points. After that we saw 2 long games, which together had 9 deuces together. At 6-5 Schmiedlova went for it, pushed Rodionova hard and broke her to win the second set 7-5 after being down 1-4 with two breaks.

In the third set, Schmiedlova continued to play great tennis and Rodionova’s level visibly dropped and also started to get cramps in her quadratic muscles. Schmiedlova dominated throughout the third set and didn’t give Rodionova a single game point. The match lasted over 3 hours, so I am curious if Schmiedlova tomorrow will face Stosur, and if she does, how she will deal with the fatigue from this match.

Anna Karolina Schmiedlova (SVK) – Arina Rodionova (AUS) 5-7 7-5 6-0

The second match was played between the Australian No. 1 Samantha Stosur and Slovak No. 5 Jana Cepelova. Cepelova was picked to play StoSamantha+Stosur+2016+Australian+Open+Previews+hfF-PmyQFR_lsur over Cibulkova and Hantuchova by the captain Matej Liptak, because Cepelova’s game gives Stosur the most problems of the three. Their head to head is 1-1, and both their matches went 3 sets. Cepelova took Stosur’s serve in the first game and gave no chance from the beginning and right after the break she won her serve with a clean game. We saw quick games from the servers until 3:1, when Cepelova got broken back. Stosur won 5 games in a row to take the first set 6-3. This was an entirely different match than the first one. Serves were faster, rallies were shorter, both players like playing fast and were hitting their strokes hard. The first 6 games in the second set were pretty straightforward, except one break point on Stosur’s serve. At 3-3 a.k.a. the Tilden game, Cepelova wasted away two game points and lost her serve. When serving for the match, Stosur won a straight game with 2 aces and 2 winners, thus equaling the tie to 1-1 and taking a lead in her head to head with Cepelova 2-1.

Samantha Stosur (AUS) – Jana Cepelova (SVK) 6-3 6-4

Tomorrow’s matches:

Samantha Stosur – Anna Karolina Schmiedlova

Arina Rodionova – Jana Cepelova

Dellacqua/Stosur – Cepelova/Hantuchova* 

*The nominations can be changed by the captains

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Fed Cup

Injury Heartbreak Motivates Australia In Billie Jean King Cup Tie With Mexico

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SEVILLE, SPAIN - NOVEMBER 09: Storm Hunter of Team Australia reacts during the Billie Jean King Cup Finals group stage match between Australia and Kazakhstan at Estadio de La Cartuja on November 09, 2023 in Seville, Spain. (Photo by Fran Santiago/Getty Images for ITF)

The captain of the Australian Billie Jean King Cup team says they are supporting one of their top players after she suffered a serious injury on the eve of their latest tie. 

Storm Hunter, who is currently ranked No.3 in the world for doubles, has suffered a ruptured Achilles tendon whilst training at a practice session on Thursday with her teammates. The severity of the injury means she will almost certainly be forced to pull out of this summer’s Olympic Games where she would have been a medal contender, as well as both the French Open and Wimbledon. Hunter has already won a WTA 1000 title this season in Dubai and was also runner-up in Indian Wells. In both of those tournaments, she was partnering Kateřina Siniaková. 

“Unfortunately yesterday in our last practice before the tie, I went down and scans last night confirmed that I have ruptured my Achilles tendon,” said Hunter.
“I am devastated and heartbroken, but incredibly grateful to be around the team and I know I have a great group of people around me that will help me get back on the court as soon as possible.
“Thank you everyone so much everyone for your messages of support and love. I’m excited to stay for the tie and support our Aussie girls.”

According to the Australian press, team captain Sam Stosur said Hunter’s teammates are ‘rallying behind‘ her and “wishing her the very, very best and the quickest recovery possible.”

As a result of the injury, Daria Saville was brought in to play in her country’s singles match on the opening day of their tie against Mexico on Friday. The world No.94 was in top form as she charged to a comprehensive 6-1, 6-0, win over Marcela Zacarias in less than an hour. 

“Yesterday was a pretty tough day for all of us, pretty emotional,” said Saville who has undergone surgery on her Achilles in the past. 
“It’s so nice to have Stormy here supporting us. Not long ago that kind of happened to me … so we’re giving Stormy a lot of love. 
“I felt like I was pretty determined and clearly that showed.”

Despite the blow, Australia is on the verge of beating Mexico. In the other singles match on the opening day, Arina Rodionova came back from a set down to beat Giuliana Olmos 3-6, 6-3, 6-1. With a 2-0 lead, they only need one more win to clinch the tie. 

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Fed Cup

Italian Captain Tathiana Garbin Reveals Rare Tumor Diagnoses After Team’s Loss At BJK Finals

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Former top 30 player and captain of the Italian Billie Jean King Cup team Tathiana Garbin has publically announced that she is battling a serious health issue. 

Just hours after her team lost to Canada in the Billie Jean King Cup final in Seville on Sunday, the 46-year-old issued a statement confirming that she is undergoing treatment for a rare tumor that has been found in her stomach. Garbin had her first surgery in October but will have to undergo further procedures in the coming weeks. 

“I really wish to thank my Federation, which has constantly supported me with extraordinary solidarity and sensitivity,” Gabin said in a statement sent to the news agency Agenzia Nazionale Stampa Associata (ANSA). 
“Seville was a very important event for me, and I absolutely didn’t want to miss it despite being very close to my operation: the Federation has shown they placed full trust in me. There is nothing that makes me prouder than representing the colors of Italy. “

Gabin says she hopes to raise awareness of medical research and prevention by going public about her condition, as well as hoping to inspire others with her story. She is being treated by Professor Di Candio and Professor Morelli at the Cisanello Hospital in Pisa. 

“I thank my BJ King Cup girls, who have shown me incredible love and support. Their presence and support have been a beacon of positivity in these difficult days,” she said in tribute to her team.
“However, I would like to inform you that I will have to undergo a second surgery, required by the treatment planned by the doctors. Thanks to the rapid recovery I have experienced, I am optimistic about being back on court.”

As a player, Garbin peaked at a ranking high of No.22 in singles and No.25 in doubles. Her sole singles title on the WTA Tour occurred in 2000 when she won the Budapest Open in Hungary. Seven years after that, she reached the fourth round of the French Open in what was her best-ever run at a major event. 

Garbin has served as Italy’s Billie Jean King Cup captain since 2016. 

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Fed Cup

Doubles Delight: Great Britain Ousts France 2-1 In Davis Cup Classic

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Image via https://twitter.com/the_LTA/

Great Britain has won the last spot in the Davis Cup finals by prevailing in a highly dramatic clash against France in front of a record crowd in Manchester.

With the must-win showdown level at 1-1, the tie was decided by a rollercoaster doubles match with Dan Evans and Neil Skupski battling their way past Nicolas Mahut and Édouard Roger-Vasselin 1-6, 7-6(4), 7-6(6). In what was one of the most tense matches ever involving the British team, four match points were saved by the hosts. Evans fended off three whilst serving 4-5 down in the decider before Skupski saved one when he was serving two games later. To add to the drama, in the decisive tiebreaker Britain lost a mini-break advantage twice before prevailing on their second match point. 

“I don’t know how we’ve won that fight, sheer fight. Incredible effort from Dan to come out and win this match with me,” said Skupski.
“The first set wasn’t too good. We regrouped, took a toilet [break] and fought as hard as we could. Dan saving three points in the third set. The rest is history and we’re off to Malaga.” 

The triumph caps off what has been a marathon day at The AO Arena with all three matches going the full distance. A total of more than 13,000 seats was sold for the tie which is a record for a single day of Davis Cup action in the UK. 

Earlier in the day, Evans got Britain off to a perfect start by fighting back from a set and a break down to beat Arthur Fils 3-6, 6-3, 6-4, in what was a close fight. At the end of the encounter, there was a tense exchange between the two which continued during the doubles match with Evans seen making gestures towards the Frenchman who was watching from the stands. 

France’s sole victor was Ugo Humbert who beat former Wimbledon semi-finalist Cameron Norrie 7-6(5),3-6, 7-5. A new confidence blow to the British No.1 who has only won back-to-back matches in one out of his past five tournaments. 

“The team is amazing. We get on very well. Everyone’s played a part. It’s all those guys and girls standing there (in the stands) who are amazing.” Captain Leon Smith commented. 

Britain joins Australia in qualifying from Group B to November’s finals which will be held in Malaga. The team has won all three of their ties played in Manchester with their previous wins being over Australia and Switzerland earlier in the week. 

In total, eight teams have secured their place in the finals. Group stages have also been held in Spain, Croatia and Italy with the top two nations from each of those events progressing. 

Britain is seeking to win the Davis Cup title for only the second time in the Open Era after 2015. 

List of teams through to the knockout stages in Malaga

  • Great Britain
  • Australia
  • Finland
  • Italy
  • Canada
  • Serbia
  • Czech Republic
  • Netherlands

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