Petra Kvitova and Karolina Pliskova give a commanding 2-0 lead over Germany in Fed Cup semifinal - UBITENNIS
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Fed Cup

Petra Kvitova and Karolina Pliskova give a commanding 2-0 lead over Germany in Fed Cup semifinal

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Petra Kvitova and Karolina Pliskova scored two straight-set wins over Julia Goerges and Angelique Kerber to give Czech Republic a 2-0 lead over Germany in the first day of the Fed Cup semifinal at the Porsche Arena in Stuttgart.

 

Kvitova bounced back from 1-3 down by winning nine of the last eleven games to take a 6-3 6-2 win over Julia Goerges. Pliskova beat Kerber 7-5 6-3 earning her second career win over the 2016 Australian and US Open champion.

In the opening match Goerges broke Kvitova in her second service game of the match. Kvitova reeled off the final five games of the first set to win the first set. The double Wimbledon champion won 16 of the 18 points from 1-1 to race out to a 5-1 lead and served out the match at love after 63 minutes. Kvitova won 84 percent of her first serve points and lost just two points on her serve in the second set.

In the second match Pliskova and Kerber went on serve in the first 11 games without breaks. Pliskova hit a sliced forehand winner down the line to earn a set point on return and sealed the match with a break in 50 minutes. The Czech star did not face a break point in the entire match and sealed the second set with her only break in the sixth game. Kerber forced Pliskova to deuce five times in the seventh game, but the Czech held her serve. Pliskova sealed the match on her serve at 30 two games later.

Czech Republic has won five of the last seven Fed Cup titles and is bidding to win their first title since 2016.

In Sunday’s reverse rubber matches Pliskova will face Goerges and Kvitova will take on Kerber. Germany needs to win both singles to force the tie to the decisive doubles match. Tatjana Maria and Anna-Lena Groenefeld could meet Katerina Siniakova and Barbora Strykova.

“None expected this”, said Pliskova.

“We will have to gather together”, said German captain Jens Gerlach.

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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