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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 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).

SOURCE: Communication Porsche AG – Porsche Tennis Grand Prix

 

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