2009, Germany are back in the
elite Group of the Fed Cup by BNP Paribas
back in the elite group of the Fed Cup by BNP Paribas
after a dramatic weekends tennis in Frankfurt.
At close of play on Saturday, Barbara Rittners team
were 2-0 up and cruising, but the Chinese team came right
back into the tie, levelling it a 2-2 after Sunday's
It all came down to a deciding doubles rubber with Anna-Lena Groenefeld and Sabine Lisicki
taking on Jie Zheng and Shuai Peng,
with the home team fighting back from a set down, to
eventually clinch a 46 75 62 victory in two hours and
want to have this match on DVD!" - Rittner
We kept on
fighting, further and further. The crowd was fantastic.
It was great, Groenefeld said, who converted the
third match point with a backhand down the line.
That was the most exciting tie I ever had. My girls
played so well in the doubles and I want to have this
match on DVD! But I also have to give credit to
Groenefeld and Tatjana Malek
in their singles matches. Of course, I would have loved a
3-0 after the first singles match, but I am more than
happy, said Germanys team captain Barbara
China will now be relegated to World Group II for the
first time since 2006.
We were not lucky today, Jie Zheng said.
We had a good chance to finish the match in two
sets and in the final set we were tired and the Germans
played unbelievably well. I hope we can return into the
World Group next year.
Earlier today, Shuai Peng had brought China right back
into the match with a 62 26 75 victory over Tatjana
Malek, to take the tie down to the wire.
Malek was a late replacement for Sabine Lisicki, who was
feeling the strain from her tour victory last week.
Explaining the substitution, Barbara Rittner said, After
the stresses and strains in Charleston, Sabine crossed
the limit yesterday and she had no chance to recharge her
batteries over night. She is tired and was not fit for
the forth rubber.
Malek, ranked No. 131, gave it everything in a dramatic
rubber against No. 35 Shuai Peng, who took the first set
easily. However, Malek came straight back at her to win
the second, but in the third set, found herself 2-5 down
with Peng serving for the match. The German then staged
an amazing comeback, saving three match points, but at
5-5 Malek lost her serve again and Peng managed to
converted her fifth match point to close out the match.
I had a bad start, but kept on trying to play my
game. I said to myself: Keep on fighting and at the end,
I was probably a bit unlucky, Malek said
In the first rubber
of the day, Jie Zheng scored China's first point with a
75 64 victory over Anna-Lena Groenefeld.
The German had numerous chances in the first set leading
5-3 and 5-4 on her own serve, and then at 30-30, double
faulted for the first time. Zheng took her chance and
levelled and then went on to close out the set winning
four games in a row.
In the second set, everything went with serve until 5-4,
when Zheng broke Groenefeld to take the match.
I have to give credit to Zheng, she played a great
match. She played consistently powerfully from the end of
the first set and hardly missed a shot from then on. She
showed why she is a top 20-player, Groenefeld said.
I tried to push back the balls in the first set
when Anna-Lena started strong. Then I changed a bit my
serve, played more aggressively. I started to move her
around and in the second set I was in control,
This wasnt to prove enough for China, who now go to
World Group II for the first time since 2006, as Germany
showed great team spirit in the deciding doubles rubber
and through the whole tie, to come out on top and
maintain its World Group status for 2010.
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