Fed Cup 2009, Germany 2-0 China



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Sunday April 26, 2009


Fed Cup 2009, Germany 2-0 China

After two dramatic rollercoaster matches Germany have a 2-0 lead after the first day of the Fed Cup by BNP Paribas World Group Play-off tie against China.

For Germany it is a major step towards a possible comeback in the elite eight-nation World Group in 2010.

Sabine Lisicki gave Germany the early lead in front of a 1,500-strong home crowd, after defeating Jie Zheng 64 26 64 in two hours and four minutes. Afterwards Anna-Lena Groenefeld, Germany’s No. 1, overcame Shuai Peng 46 64 62 in two hours, 13 minutes.

Birthday bonus for Rittner

“I could not have gone better,” Barbara Rittner said. It was a nice gift for Germany’s captain who celebrated her 36th birthday today. “In the worst case we could have lost both matches but I have to congratulate my players for their great effort.”

“I am so happy. It was a fantastic atmosphere. I hope all the spectators are coming back tomorrow. It was good to go out there having the 1-0 lead,” said Groenefeld, who made too many errors in the first set but fought back to claim the next two sets.

“I started well but she put a lot of power on me in the second and third set,” said Peng. “Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose. The chances for tomorrow are not so good anymore.”

Lisicki powers ahead

In the opening match Lisicki shot to a 3-0 lead, impressing Zheng with big serves and powerful groundstrokes but Zheng came back, breaking Lisicki’s serve in the fourth game. It was an open set then with both players losing their serves several times. The crucial game came at 4-3 for Lisicki when the German saved three break points. At 5-4 Lisicki closed the opening set after 40 minutes.

Zheng fights back

The second set went the other way with Zheng cruising to a 3-0 lead. At 5-1 the German saved a set point against the Chinese No. 1 and world No. 16 but couldn’t prevent her taking the set 62.

In the first game of the deciding set Lisicki broke Zheng’s serve. At 3-1 the German had two chances to break Zheng again but was unlucky. Zheng came back to 3-3 and the rubber was wide open. At 4-4 Zheng lost her serve after Lisicki finished the game with a beautiful dropshot. It was a fantastic match now with both players fighting strong in long rallies. In the ninth game Lisicki broke Zheng to finish the match on her serve.

“I am happy that I won the first point for Germany. I was a bit tired after Charleston. It was not easy to adjust. The balls here were lighter, they flew quicker and then, of course, there is the time difference,” said Lisicki.

“Zheng played well and I think it was a good match. I was confident and played better on the important points. It was my first match at home for Germany and I enjoyed the support from the crowd.”

Zheng was a bit disturbed when the German was yelling during an important point in the third set. “I had a good chance when I was up 4-3 in the final set. It could have been 5-3. That is a difference,” Zheng said.


The Sony Ericsson WTA Tour is the world’s leading professional sport for women with more than 2,200 players representing 96 nations competing for more than $86 million in prize money at the Tour’s 51 events and four Grand Slams in 31 countries. More than 4.8 million people attended women’s tennis events in 2008 with millions more watching events on television networks around the world. The Sony Ericsson WTA Tour season concludes with the Sony Ericsson Championships – Doha 2009 in Doha, Qatar, from October 27-November 1, and the inaugural Commonwealth Bank Tournament of Champions in Bali, Indonesia from November 4-8. Further information on the Tour can be found on the Internet at www.sonyericssonwtatour.com




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