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.
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, Germanys No. 1, overcame Shuai Peng 46
64 62 in two hours, 13 minutes.
bonus for Rittner
I could not
have gone better, Barbara Rittner said. It was a
nice gift for Germanys 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.
In the opening match Lisicki shot to a 3-0 lead,
impressing Zheng with big serves and powerful
groundstrokes but Zheng came back, breaking Lisickis
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.
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 couldnt
prevent her taking the set 62.
In the first game of the deciding set Lisicki broke Zhengs
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,
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.
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