Saturday, February 7, 2015

Germany and Australia tied at 1-1, and what a tie

Germany is one of the home teams in this weekend's Fed Cup World Group competition; much was expected, no doubt, of Angelique Kerber, who played Australia's Jarmila Gajdosova in today's tie in Stuttgart. But you know how Fed Cup is--things happen that cause expectations to be tossed out the window. Gajdosova defeated Kerber 4-6, 6-2, 6-4, which left matters up to Andrea Petkovic.

Petkovic hasn't had a good season so far, but she showed last year that she just may be one of those players who has a special Fed Cup spark. She won her first set against Sam Stosur, but Stosur took the second set and held a match point in the third when Petko served at 4-5. They were just settling in. The match lasted three hours and 16 minutes, and Petkovic won it 6-4, 3-6, 12-10.

The third set--the second-longest in Fed Cup history--lasted an hour and 49 minutes, and was a true thriller.

The Russian team is now 2-0 over Poland, with both Radwanskas defeated in the opening rubbers. You-know-who, however, had the Fed Cup shot of the day. Tomorrow, Aga Radwanska will play Maria Sharapova. She lost today to Svetlana Kuznetsova.

Italy is 2-0 against France. Sara Errani got past Caroline Garcia 7-6, 7-5, and Camila Giorgi defeated Alize Cornet 6-4, 6-2. Giorgi, the spiritual daughter of Flavia Pennetta, is made for Fed Cup. Her performance was stunning--it isn't easy to make the Frenchwoman go away in two sets.

The remaining World Group tie, between Canada and defending champion, the Czech Republic, has the Czechs in the lead 2-0. The B team, despite Karolina Pliskova's nervous tension over being the  team's lead player, nevertheless prevailed. Pliskova defeated Francoise Abanda, and Tereza Smitkova defeated Gabriela Dabrowski. Both were straight-set wins.

Missing from the Canadian team, of course, is Genie Bouchard. I never make any judgments about whether players decide to participate in Fed Cup competition. I will note, however, that Bouchard's absence doesn't help her campaign to not be compared with Maria Sharapova!

Here are the current World Group II scores:

The Netherlands-1, Slovak Republic-1
Romania-1, Spain-1
Sweden-0, Switzerland-2
Argentina-0, USA-2

A good match to pay attention to tomorrow is one that will be played between Simona Halep and Garbine Muguruza.

Also, expect more drama between Australia and Germany, as Jarmila Gajdosova plays Andrea Petkovic and Sam Stosur faces off against Angelique Kerber. Both Petkovic and Stosur are going to be pretty tired, at least mentally.

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