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Porsche Team Germany quietly hopeful going into the Fed Cup opener against the Czech Republic
Porsche Team Deutschland: Sabine Lisicki, Anna-Lena Grönefeld, Barbara Rittner, Angelique Kerber, Julia Görges (v. l.)
“We’re always in with a chance”
Stuttgart. Porsche Team Germany are highly confident going into the Fed Cup 2012.
“We’ve got some strong players and we can beat anybody on a good day,” said team captain Barbara Rittner at a press conference in Stuttgart’s Porsche Arena where the first round match against the Czech Republic will be staged on 4 and 5 February. “We want to show that we’re in the World Group by right.”
In the opening tie of the world championships for women’s national teams, Barbara Rittner is pinning her faith in Sabine Lisicki, whose great performances have moved her up to 14th on the WTA World Rankings, Julia Görges (No. 21), Angelique Kerber (No. 27) and doubles specialist Anna-Lena Grönefeld.
Andrea Petkovic, last season’s most successful German player, is not available due to a back injury.
Porsche Team Deutschland bei der Pressekonferenz in Stuttgart: Angelique Kerber, Julia Görges, Barbara Rittner, Sabine Lisicki, Anna-Lena Grönefeld (v. l.)
Barbara Rittner nevertheless sees Porsche Team Germany as being in with a good chance.
“We’ve got strength in depth,” she said. “It can make all the difference in the end.”
With Petra Kvitova in their team, defending champions the Czech Republic will be lining up with one of the world’s top players. The current world No 2 last year won the Grand Slam tournament in Wimbledon as well as the WTA Championships in Istanbul and she recently reached the semifinals of the Australian Open.
Her teammates are Lucia Hradecka (No. 47), Iveta Benesova (No. 49) and Barbora Zahlavova Strycova (No. 53). Barbara Rittner:
“Obviously in the opening tie, I’d have wished for an easier opponent than, of all people, the title-holder. But if our players play to their limits, and with the crowd behind us, then we definitely stand a good chance.”
Sabine Lisicki, who has no qualms at being the German No 1 for the tough encounter, sees things the same way.
“For me it doesn’t mean any extra pressure, I see it more as being as a form of motivation,” said the world No 14 who lives in Berlin.
Julia Görges, who celebrated her biggest career success by winning last year’s Porsche Tennis Grand Prix in the Porsche Arena, is primarily pinning her hopes on the home advantage.
“The spectators will be right behind us for sure. For me personally, it’s doubly motivating to play in the Porsche Arena. Just entering the hall two days ago was a fantastic feeling.”
Angelique Kerber will be playing for Germany in the Fed Cup for the first time after a four-year absence. “It’s great being back in the fold,” she said.
When asked whether Porsche Team Germany have got a chance against the strong Czech side, Anna-Lena Grönefeld simply replied: “We’re always in with a chance.”
After the Opening Ceremony at 11.45 am (local time), two singles are on Saturday’s schedule in the Porsche Arena.
Starting at 11.00 am, Sunday’s play will take in two singles and the doubles. Tickets are available at Easy Ticket Service (telephone +49 711-2555 555, internet http://www.easyticket.de).