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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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Porsche Team Germany – Fed Cup, 1st Round in the Porsche Arena, Stuttgart

Porsche Arena

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

Porsche Team Germany still hoping to reach semis

Tennis Fedcup World Group First Round 2012 – Germany Czech Republic in Stuttgart Germany – Porsche Team Deutschland: Anna-Lena Grönefeld, Sabine Lisicki, Barbara Rittner, Julia Görges, Angelique Kerber (v.l.)

 

Stuttgart. Porsche Team Germany hasn’t give up hope yet of reaching the Fed Cup semifinals.

Porsche Team Deutschland: Julia Görges, Angelique Kerber, Barbara Rittner, Anna-Lena Grönefeld, Sabine Lisicki (v. l.)

Even though, in spite of putting up stiff resistance, they are 2-0 behind at the end of the first day of the first round tie against title holders the Czech Republic in the Porsche Arena, captain Barbara Rittner still feels they are in with a chance of advancing.

“We’re not going to let our heads drop,”

she said, “Nothing’s lost yet.”

At the premiere of Porsche Team Germany, the sell-out crowd in the Porsche Arena experienced an unbelievably exciting tennis thriller. Julia Görges, who celebrated the biggest success of her career by winning the Porsche Tennis Grand Prix at the same venue one year ago, played out of her skin against Petra Kvitova.

Julia Görges, Porsche Team Deutschland

Petra Kvitova (CZ)

In the third set of the top class match, she had the Wimbledon champion and winner of the WTA Championships 2011 on the verge of a defeat. The German eventually went down 6-3, 3-6, 8-10 against the current world No. 2.

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“In the first moments after such a tight match one’s naturally disappointed,” she said, but, “I can’t put any blame on myself but it just wasn’t enough in the end.

Nevertheless we’re not giving up. We’re a strong team and it’s not all over in such a situation.”

Commenting on her return to the Porsche Arena she said: “I had goose bumps all over. I really enjoyed everything out there. It’s an unbelievably nice feeling when everybody’s right behind you.”

In the opening rubber, Sabine Lisicki surprisingly lost 6-2, 4-6, 2-6 against Iveta Benesova. After taking the first set comfortably, it seemed the German, the world No. 14, would win the first point for Porsche Team Germany.

Sabine Lisicki, Porsche Team Deutschland

Iveta Benesova (CZ)

But then in the second set she failed to convert the chances she had to break and proceeded to let the match slip.

“I played aggressively from the start and kept fighting to the end,” said the visibly disappointed Lisicki, “but I didn’t serve hard enough and I couldn’t get any length in my shots.

It was the main reason why I wasn’t able to turn the match around in the third set.” She had no problems with pressure of being the team’s No. 1: “I normally play better under pressure.

But unfortunately it didn’t work out that way today. I hope I can show it again tomorrow.”

In spite of trailing the defending champions, Barbara Rittner is still hoping her players can pull off a surprise on Sunday.

Barbara Rittner, Julia Görges, Petra Kvitova (v.l.)

“Julia forced Petra to dig very deep physically in a fantastic match and Sabine can definitely play much better than she did today,” said the German captain.

“Up until the moment the Czech Republic wins the third point, then nothing’s decided.”

Starting at 11.00 am (local time), two further singles and a doubles will be played in the Porsche Arena on Sunday.

SOURCE: Porsche AG Media Database

Communication Porsche AG

Porsche Tennis Grand Prix

 

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