STUTTGART, April 21, 2018
Karolina Pliskova‘s solid 7-5, 6-3 win over Angelique Kerber lifted the Czech Republic to a 2-0 lead over Germany in the Fed Cup by BNP Paribas semi-final tie at Stuttgart’s Porsche Arena on Saturday.
In front of with 4,500 spectators packed stands, the World No. 6 fired 15 aces, didn’t face a break point, converting two of her own to prevail after one hour and 23 minutes.
— Fed Cup (@FedCup) 21. April 2018
“No one expected this,” Pliskova said on court after her win
Earlier in the day, Petra Kvitova and the Czech Republic had the start into the tie, they would have dreamed of. The World No. 11 stormed past Julia Görges 6-3, 6-2 seal a 29th singles rubber win in her career.
Görges had the better start, gaining an early 3-1 lead but the 29-year-old from Bad Oldesloe couldn’t transfer the momentum. Kvitova became stronger the longer the match lasted, didn’t look back and won five games in a row to clinch the opening set. She only lost two points on her serve in the following and finished the encounter after only 60 minutes.
“We need three points… no matter how we get it,” Kvitova told.
“Both Czech players played extremely well. Our players gave their best. Now we will have to gather tonight and then we will see what’s still possible tomorrow,” Germany’s captain Jens Gerlach commented, as the team will have to dig out of a 0-2 deficit on Sunday when Julia Görges and Karolina Pliskova will open the reverse singles rubbers.
Germany’s only triumph over the Czechs came en route to the first of its two Fed Cup titles in 1987, when, led by Steffi Graf, they defeated the then-Czechoslovakia 2-1 in the World Group semi-finals in Vancouver.
Germany is bidding to reach the final for the first time since 2014, when it finished runner-up to this weekend’s opponent.