GOERGES WINS TO GIVE GERMANY VICTORY
A tricky Fed Cup by BNP Paribas World Group play-off for Germany against Ukraine in Stuttgart has been successfully negotiated in no small part thanks to team No. 2 Julia Goerges who banished her team’s disappointment at losing Sunday’s opening reverse singles rubber to win her second match of the weekend, beating counterpart Lesia Tsurenko 64 64.
The result gives her team an unassailable 3-1 lead in the tie.
Earlier in the day, team spearhead and world No. 1 Angelique Kerber, a straight sets winner over Tsurenko on Saturday, suffered her fourth consecutive defeat against Elina Svitolina, losing 64 62 to the Ukrainian.
“You know, I think it was a good match on a really high level and in the end it was just two or three points that decided it,” said a disappointed Kerber afterwards. “Elina took her chances in the really important moments and she played good today.”
World No. 13 Svitolina, who struggled to combat the movement and aggression of Goerges in the tie’s opening rubber, certainly fared better throughout her match with Kerber.
Serving out her opening service game to love, the 22-year-old defended two breakpoints in her next and then broke Kerber in the fourth game of the set to take a 3-1 lead.
It was a short-lived advantage, however, as Kerber broke immediately back and then held her own serve, a crouching backhand from the baseline winning the final point of the game to level the set 3-3.
Successfully defending two breakpoints in her next service game, Svitolina then generated three chances to break of her own. Kerber, who despite her No. 1 ranking currently remains a considerable distance from her formidable best, showed glimpses of her class by defending the second and the third of them with a searing forehand and an equally adroit backhand, respectively.