Fed Cup: CoCo Vandeweghe replaces Keys and completes Australia's disposal by the USA who are back in World Group - UBITENNIS
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Fed Cup: CoCo Vandeweghe replaces Keys and completes Australia’s disposal by the USA who are back in World Group

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After losing badly the first set Vandeweghe adjusts to Stosur’s serve and increases her serve’s effectiveness to take rubber and tie

 

 

FED CUP, World Group, play-off
Australia – USA 0-4 (From Brisbane Robbie Cappuccio)

CoCo Vandeweghe: solid as a rock

CoCo Vandeweghe: solid as a rock

After a disappointing Saturday, Australia was trailing two-love and had to show their best to try to level the tie to take it to the decider doubles. “It’s about regrouping and I think believing and trusting ourselves tomorrow” . These were the words by Alicia Molik at the after-match (pardon, rubber) press conference yesterday. For about one hour and a bit trust grew today, to then collapse under Vandeweghe’s strokes. It ended with Stosur in tears and USA back to the World Group.

The fourth singles was not played. In the doubles, Gavrilova/Rodionova lost to Vandeweghe/Mattek-Sands 1-6 4-6 to complete the Aussie debacle.

USA deserved the victory showing more determination, more aggressiveness and more resilience bouncing back twice from one set down. Keys played impressively well (watch out for the upcoming clay season), both McHale and Vandeweghe started slow but regrouped and did not miss a chance when it came up. Gavrilova was possibly a bit too nervous but was clearly out-powered by Keys whilst Stosur started both rubbers perfectly to then melting along the way in the tropical Brisbane heat.

CoCo Vandeweghe (USA) d. Sam Stosur (AUS) 2-6 7-5 6-4
Another beautiful tropical day in Brisbane and the Pat Rafter Arena is crowded and loud. Aussies love tennis and love supporting their team and showing their colours. It’s such a pleasure to see 70 years old ladies all dressed up in green and gold (including wigs) and so competent in the nuances of this beautiful game.

Aussie fans are always colourful, regardless of their age

Aussie fans are always colourful, regardless of their age

The first rubber of the day starts with a surprise, as Coco Vandeweghe takes the court replacing Madison Keys (who is wearing sunglasses instead of the team’s uniform). Stosur starts so determined you would not believed 24 hours earlier she had badly choked. When the rally is longer than 4 shots Vandeweghe is winning it, but Stosur is serving (78% first serve at 170 km/h) and returning so well that seldom a rally is that long. Vandeweghe seems incapable of opposing and the Australian flies up 3-0, then 5-2 and set point: same situation as yesterday. This time she gets it taking advantage of the American sending Stosur’s return a couple of meter long: 6-2 Australia in less than half an hour.
Everybody is expecting Sam’s dip in focus, and guess what? She faces 3 consecutive break points in the first game, but today it’s a different Stosur who is able to regroup and hold serve. Even though Stosur keeps serving well (75% first serve) Vandeweghe has finally adjusted to her serve and returns very effectively. Her serve also grows (4 aces and 78% points won on first serve) with a sliced serve to the forehand and flat to the backhand of Stosur, and the match becomes tight. Let’s face it, it’s not a great match, but the tension keeps the spectators glued to their seats, exploding in chants to support the Australian. “I want to thank the Aussie crowd for cheering against me so hard it was really something special” says a cheeky Coco in the after match interview. At 5-5, yesterday’s Stosur reappears on the court: she makes and then breaks the game, with a double fault, a couple of great winners to lead 40-30 and then unforced errors to lose serve. Vandeweghe thanks for the gift and with a couple of aces takes the set 7-5.

Stosur is now suffering against the American and loses serve straight away and Vanderweghe consolidates. “I was in control in the first but losing set 2 was huge. A match like that can come down to a couple of points” says the Australian at the press conference. Even if the Aussie keeps to love her next three service games, the momentum is on the American side and Vanderweghe even ventures in a serve and volley, with forehand half volley brushing the net and dropping in Stosur serve box. Without much excitement the match goes to 5-4 with Vandeweghe serving for the rubber and the tie. The game is dramatic with the chair umpire Carlos Ramos correcting a double fault (no hawk eye on clay and by the way it was out) and giving Vanderweghe the possibility of replay point. Then on 30 all the American double faults (a total of 6 for her today) rising Australian hopes. Stosur faces the opportunity by sending long an overhead from the service line. She has a second chance this time frustrated by Vanderweghe’s forhand winner (18 winners today for her, 12 for Stusur). A cross court backhand then forces Stosur to the error giving USA the match point and tie point: Vandeweghe’s serve stops on Stosur’s racquet and USA is back to the World Group, leaving the crowd extremely disappointed and Stosur in tears. “It’s disappointing and frustrating but it’s better to go down in a tight one. It does not make it any easier right now, but on the whole I was playing a good tennis” she says at the press conference.

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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