Fed Cup, 1st Round in the Porsche Arena, Stuttgart: Germany – Czech Republic
Stuttgart.In the opening tie of the 2012 Fed Cup season, Porsche Team Germany thrilled the sell-out crowd in the Porsche Arena with their great fighting spirit and excellent tennis – even though it did not suffice for them to progress to the hoped-for semifinal berth in the first round match against title-holders the Czech Republic.
Though unable able to take their chances in the decisive moments, Sabine Lisicki, Julia Görges, Angelique Kerber and Anna-Lena Grönefeld nevertheless showed themselves to be a strong team in the 4-1 defeat.
“We’re leaving Stuttgart with a great feeling,” said captain Barbara Rittner when summing up the Fed Cup weekend.
“I’m so-so proud of the girls. They’ve showed they’re highly talented and can excite the spectators.
Everything is very positive even though it wasn’t enough to win against such a strong opponent. Now we’re hoping for the luck of the draw and will do our very best to stay in the World Group.”
After Sabine Lisicki surprisingly lost the first rubber on Saturday 6-2, 4-6, 2-6 against Iveta Benesova and Julia Görges’ 6-3, 3-6, 8-10 defeat against Petra Kvitova in a high-class tennis thriller, Porsche Team Germany stood with their backs to the wall on Sunday.
Sabine Lisicki had to win to keep her team in the race to the semis, Cheered on by the Stuttgart crowd, the German, who played nowhere near her best the day before, took the first set 6-2.
She continued to play well in the second set against the Wimbledon champion and the current world No. 2 but eventually succumbed 6-4. In the third, the Czech proved to be too strong when running out a 6-2 winner.
“We’re obviously very disappointed. Nevertheless I’m very proud to have played much better today than I did yesterday,” said Sabine Lisicki, the world No. 14.
“Yesterday, I immediately lost plot when things weren’t going well. Today I served far better and my groundshots were also better. Unfortunately though I didn’t win the vital points and it made all the difference.
However these kind of matches are the ones that help me to improve this aspect of my game.”
With a bit of luck in the draw, the play-off, whereby the winning nation will contest the 2013 World Group, could also be staged in the Porsche Arena on 21 and 22 April.
Sabine Lisicki would be more than happy:
“It’s great playing at home.
The atmosphere in the Porsche Arena is awesome. It’s such fun and really motivating.”
In the second rubber of the day, Angelique Kerber notched up the first point for Porsche Team Germany.
The German, who was one of last season’s top up-and-coming players after reaching the semifinals at the US Open, had relatively little trouble in overcoming Lucie Hradecka 6-4, 6-4.
“I’m so proud to have won my first Fed Cup singles for Germany,” she said.
“Even though it made no difference to the result, I gave my all – also for the crowd which has given us such fantastic support over the past two days.”
Iveta Benesova/Barbora Zahlavova-Strycova won the concluding doubles 6-3, 7-6 against Julia Görges/Anna-Lena Grönefeld.
SOURCE: Porsche AG Media Database
Porsche Tennis Grand Prix
Porsche Team Germany – Fed Cup, 1st Round in the Porsche Arena, Stuttgart (dedeporsche.wordpress.com)
Porsche Team Germany quietly hopeful going into the Fed Cup opener against the Czech Republic (dedeporsche.wordpress.com)
Fed Cup Tennis Team to become “Porsche Team Germany” (dedeporsche.wordpress.com)
Czechs take 2-0 lead against Germany in Fed Cup (cbssports.com)
Fed Cup Roundup: Sharapova gives Russia lead on Spain (sportsillustrated.cnn.com)