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Porsche Team Germany in good spirits before the Fed Cup tie against Australia “We feel at home in Stuttgart”

Porsche Team Deutschland: Angelique Kerber, Julia Görges, Andrea Petkovic, Anna-Lena Grönefeld, Teamchefin Barbara Rittner (l-r)

Stuttgart. With the support of the crowd in the Porsche Arena, Porsche Team Germany will be looking to remain in the World Group in the Fed Cup tie against Australia over the weekend.

“We feel at home in Stuttgart,” said team captain Barbara Rittner, who will be appearing for the third time in a row in the state capital on 21 and 22 April. “Australia is a really tough opponent but with the fantastic spectators behind us, we’ll do everything we can to turn our home advantage into a win.”

Porsche Team Germany with Angelique Kerber, Andrea Petkovic, Julia Görges and Anna-Lena Grönefeld have been preparing in the Porsche Arena for the play-off since Monday. Just who she will send out on court against the strong Australians including their top player Samantha Stosur is something Barbara Rittner wants to decide after further practice sessions on Friday.

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Only Angelique Kerber is a certainty. The 24-year-old German won her first ever rubber for Germany in the Fed Cup first round tie against title-holders the Czech Republic in February and then her season really took off. In Paris, she celebrated her first ever WTA Tour title, she reached the semifinals at the million dollar tournament in Indian Wells and last weekend she won the indoor event in Copenhagen.

“The wins have given her masses of confidence and it doesn’t matter on which surface. I’ll obviously be nominating her,” said Barbara Rittner. Angelique Kerber showed herself to be a team player at the press conference in the Porsche Arena: “We want to have success together as a team and we support each other no matter who’s out on court.”

For the first time since her long injury break due to a stress fracture in her lower back, Andrea Petkovic is back in the Porsche Team Germany squad. Whether she will play or not is not something she is really thinking about.

She assured everybody:

“The most important thing is that I’m back to one thousand per cent fitness and that I’m not in pain any more. I’ll try to support the team as best as I possibly can, whether it’s on the court or on the bench, we’ll see. I’ve been practicing well over the past few days but practice is different to a real match.”

A lot speaks in favour of Julia Görges being chosen for the second singles on Saturday. She last year won the Porsche Tennis Grand Prix in the Porsche Arena and produced a top class performance against Petra Kvitovain the tie against the Czech Republic – additionally she has already won twice against Samantha Stosur, the world No. 5.

However, Barbara Rittner did not want to lay her cards openly on the table three days before the first balls are struck in earnest.

“In the end,” she said, “the form on the day will decide who will be nominated.”

Beginning at the same time as the Fed Cup play-off against Australia is the Porsche Tennis Grand Prix. Seventeen of the world’s Top 10 players, including Victoria Azarenka, the new world No. 1, and, for the first time, superstar Maria Sharapova will be competing at the 35th edition of the long-standing tournament in Stuttgart which goes on until 29 April.

Tickets for the Porsche Tennis Grand Prix and the Fed Cup are available via Easy Ticket Service (telephone +49 711-2555 555, Internet http://www.easyticket.de) or at the Porsche Arena box offices during the tournament week.

SOURCE: Porsche Tennis Grand Prix and the Porsche Team Germany photo libraries  Porsche Press Data Bank 

Communication Porsche AG
Porsche Tennis Grand Prix
Claus-Peter Andorka

 
 

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Porsche Team Germany thrills with classy tennis and fighting spirit

Fed Cup, 1st Round in the Porsche Arena, Stuttgart: Germany – Czech Republic

Fans in der Porsche-Arena

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.

Eingang Porsche Arena in Stuttgart

Image via Wikipedia - Eingang Porsche Arena in Stuttgart

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.

Barbara Rittner (l.), Angelique Kerber, Porsche Team Deutschland

“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.

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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.

Sabine Lisicki, Porsche Team Deutschland

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, Porsche Team Deutschland

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.

Angelique Kerber, Porsche Team Deutschland

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.

Lucie Hradecka (CZ)

 

Angelique Kerber, Porsche Team Deutschland

“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

Communication Porsche AG
Porsche Tennis Grand Prix

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