Saturday, February 4, 2012

Czech Republic 2-0 against Germany in Fed Cup play

"It wasn't still easy to be focused in the head."
Petra Kvitova

It wasn't. After losing the first set of the second Fed Cup rubber to Germany's Julia Goerges, Petra Kvitova won the second, but then had all kinds of trouble winning the match. Part of her problem was that Goerges was playing at a very high level. But--and this is often the case when the Czech star plays--as many thrilling moments as this match contained, it contained just as many when people all over the world were undoubtedly groaning "Oh, Petra."

At 4-3, 40-15 in the third set, Kvitova appeared to be rather close to a victory, but was then broken. Suddenly, she was serving at 4-5, 0-30, but managed to save herself. Kvitova served for the set at 6-5 and was broken again, and then Goerges held at love. The momentum swings in the set were dramatic. And after two hours and 22 minutes, Kvitova had a 3-6, 6-3, 10-8 victory. Officially, this gives the Czech 22 consecutive indoor match wins, but actually--because of Hopman Cup--it gives her 26. Oh, Petra.

Kvitova's teammate, Iveta Benesova, played first, and she took care of Germany's Sabine Lisicki, 2-6, 6-4, 6-2.

Russia ended the day 2-0 against Spain, with both Maria Sharapova and Svetlana Kuznetsova winning in straight sets. Serbia's Jelena Jankovic defeated Belgium's Kirsten Flipkens 7-5, 7-5, and Yanina Wickmayer defeated Bojana Jovanovski, so Serbia and Belgium ended the day tied 1-1. In Italy, Ukraine's Lesia Tsurenko had a big 6-1, 6-2 win over Francesca Schiavone. That tie is also 1-1 because, in the opening rubber, Sara Errani beat Kateryna Bondarenko. Errani is playing singles because Flavia Pennetta has a back injury.

In World Group II competition, the USA leads Belarus 2-0, Japan leads Slovenia 2-0, the Slovak Republic is tied 1-1 with France, and Switzerland is tied 1-1 with Australia.

Australian Open champion Victoria Azarenka was scheduled to play Christina McHale today, but Azarenka had to drop out because of a lower back injury. McHale defeated Anastasia Yakimova 6-0,  6-4; Yakimova won ten straight games and led 4-0 in the second set. In the second rubber, Olga Govortsova played Serena Williams very competitively in the first set, but lost her focus and was broken at love at 5-6. Govortsova wouldn't win another game.

Azarenka will play tomorrow if she is feeling better and is deemed fit to play.

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