NEW

Osaka pulls out of Wimbledon

In a decision that will no doubt disappoint organisers and fans, Naomi Osaka has confirmed her withdrawal from The Championships at Wimbledon, but is preparing to compete at the Tokyo Olympics.

Konta withdraws from Eastbourne

British No 1 Johanna Konta has withdrawn from the Viking International, which starts next week at Devonshire Park in Eastbourne, to protect her troublesome right knee.

Jabeur and Kasatkina reach Birmingham quarters, as Ostapenko stumbles

At the Viking Classic Birmingham on Thursday, No 2 seed Ons Jabeur withstood an onslaught from Canadian teenager Leylah Annie Fernandez, while Daria Kasatkina, the 4th seed, and Anastasia Potapova also advanced, but 5th-seeded Jelena Ostapenko was outrun by Tereza...

Pegula fells Pliskova again, Muguruza and Azarenka advance in Berlin

With the demise of Karolina Pliskova, the World No 10, at the hands of Jessica Pegula, Belinda Bencic, Garbiñe Muguruza and Victoria Azarenka are the only remaining seeds to make the quarter-finals at the bett1open in Berlin on Thursday.

Murray goes out; Evans moves on

The hope that both Andy Murray and Dan Evans would join Camron Norrie and Jack Draper in the quarter finals of the cinci Championships at Queen’s were dashed by the top seeded Mateo Berrettini of Italy, who proved too strong for the former five-time champion of the...

Rafa pulls out of Wimbledon and Olympics, Osaka still a question mark

With The Championships just 10 days away, Rafael Nadal has withdrawn from both Wimbledon and the Tokyo Olympics, having decided to skip both events after ‘listening’ to his body, while Naomi Osaka’s participation at SW19 remains questionable.

Sabalenka and Svitolina up-ended in Berlin

The two top seeds were up-ended at the bett1open in Berlin on Wednesday as both Aryna Sabalenka and Elina Svitolina fell in their opening rounds to Madison Keys and Ekaterina Alexandrova respectively, joined by Bianca Andreescu at the exit door and leaving Belinda...

Watson makes Birmingham quarter-finals

Heather Watson was leading Zhang Shuai when the Chinese retired at the Viking Classic Birmingham on Wednesday, advancing the British No 2 to the quarter-finals where she will play the No 3 seed Donna Vekic.

Wimbledon updates arrangements for Championships

The AELTC has updated details of arrangements for Wimbledon, including ticketing capacities, COVID-status certification, other health and safety requirements, prize money for competitors, initial wild cards, and the launch of our third consultation on the AELTC...

Norrie or Draper set to reach Queen’s semi-final place

Britain will have a singles semi-finalist at the LTA’s cinch Championships after Cameron Norrie and Jack Draper both scored impressive wins at The Queen’s Club on Wednesday.
Tennis News, Tennis Results, Live Tennis Scores & Interviews

Fed Cup Qualifiers: Fed Cup finalists determined

With USA and Slovakia through to the inaugural Fed Cup by BNP Paribas Finals in Budapest, other nations to also qualify for the finale are Belarus, Germany, Russia, Spain, Switzerland and Belgium, all hoping to wrest the trophy from defending champions France.

I love being part of a team, that's no secret. That I can contribute this way makes me feel happy. From my side this was a great match. From the very beginning I felt more relaxed than yesterday and my serve was very good today. Kiki Bertens

The full line-up of confirmed teams followed 2 days of action in Fed Cup Qualifiers through which the 8 winning nations will join 2019 finalists France and Australia, wild card Czech Republic and host nation Hungary, bidding to be crowned world champions in Budapest.

Brazil, Canada, Great Britain, Japan, Kazakhstan, Latvia, Netherlands and Romania will compete in the Fed Cup play-offs in April against advancing nations from the regional Group I events.

Argentina, Italy, Mexico, Poland, Serbia and Ukraine all booked their place in the Fed Cup play-offs this week while the final two nations will be decided at the re-scheduled Asia/Oceania Group I event, on 3-7 March, in Dubai.

Over the past couple of days, Russia needed to go the full distance to defeat Romania, suffering a huge scare against an underpowered team but prevailing in a deciding doubles rubber to clinch a nervy 3-2 win in Cluj-Napoca.

World No 28 Ekaterina Alexandrova and 38th-ranked Veronika Kudermetova stepped up for Russia, with Alexandrova beating fellow debutant Elena-Gabriela Ruse on her debut in straight sets to clinch an early lead, but Ana Bogdan, ranked 90, gave hope to home fans with a stellar performance to stun Kudermetova in three sets.

On Day 2 Alexandrova found herself stuck in a three-set battle with the inspired Bogdan, who fought back from a set down to level the rubber, before threatening to steal the lead in the decider but failed to pounce on her chances.

Kudermetova was expected to close out the tie for Russia, and her chances grew after Romania decided to field Jaqueline Cristian for her Fed Cup debut instead of the initial choice of Elena-Gabriela Ruse.

Cristian played at a higher level as the match progressed, coming from 3-5 down to claim the stunning 7-5, 6-3 win in her first match against a top-50 player.

Cristian then paired with Ruse for the doubles against Anna Blinkova & Anna Kalinskaya, and surprisingly, it was the two Annaswho put on a masterclass, taking just 74 minutes to triumph, 6-3 6-2.


Aryna Sabalenka & Aljaksandra Sasnovitsj react after winning against Kiki Bertens & Demi Schuurs in the decisive doubles

© Ronald Hoogendorn/ANP/AFP/ via Getty Images

Belarus seemed down and out against the Netherlands, but the visitors came back from a 2-1 deficit to silence the home fans in The Hague when Aliaksandra Sasnovich came through a topsy-turvy contest to down Arantxa Rus in three sets and send the tie to a deciding doubles.

This followed Kiki Bertens’ emphatic victory over Aryna Sabalenka earlier on Saturday, before Belarus’ top two combined superbly to finish the job.

“Wow! That’s great. I didn’t know that,” admitted Bertens after the match. “I love being part of a team, that’s no secret. That I can contribute this way makes me feel happy.

“From my side this was a great match. From the very beginning I felt more relaxed than yesterday and my serve was very good today.”

Sabalenka & Sasnovich prevailed 4-6 6-3 7-6(8) in a thrilling doubles, abruptly silencing the army of fans in orange, who had supported their team so vocally until the final ball was struck at the Sportcampus Zuiderpark.

With Schuurs & Bertens each boasting 10 career doubles titles and Sabalenka being the current doubles World No 5, the deciding doubles contest featured a wealth of experience and expertise.

In Brazil, Germany’s Laura Siegemund recorded her second win of the weekend to clinch victory for the visitors.

The World No 73, who had never won a Fed Cup match before, defeated Brazil’s No 1 player Gabriela Ce 6-1 6-2 in an hour 42 minutes to give Germany an unassailable 3-0 lead in Florianopolis.

“Maybe sometimes it look easier than it was,” Siegemund admitted. “We have almost no German fans, except our box so it’s not easy.

“Also the weather conditions – I think the Brazilian are more used to it because it is their kind of weather but for us this was very hot.

“But anyway, we managed. We had to work hard and deal with the circumstances and I’m proud of us.”

After building a comfortable 2-0 overnight lead on Friday, Switzerland’s route to Hungary wasn’t without its complications however.

The day began with 17-year-old Canadian Leylah Annie Fernandez shocking World No 5 Belinda Bencic, 6-2 7-6(3), to give the visitors hope, before Biel-based Jil Teichmann battled past another Canadian stand-in, doubles specialist Gaby Dabrowski, 6-3 6-4, to wrap up the tie 3-1.

“This weekend was about qualifying to be able to participate and it was a rough one, it was always going to be difficult all the way and they put up a great fight,” Swiss Captain Heinz Guenthardt admitted afterwards.

“They had a lot of bad luck with injuries and sometimes that’s just what happens, but they got back up and really competed today.”

Belgium beat Kazakhstan 3-1 in their qualifier in Kortrijk after having split Friday’s singles rubbers, but on Saturday Elise Mertens overcame Yulia Putintseva, 6-1 7-6, before Kirsten Flipkens secured the winning point for the hosts by beating Zarina Diyas, 6-3 6-4.

“It was very special,” said Flipkens. “This will be one to remember, especially because it’s been a while since we won at home.

“To win the deciding point really means a lot to me personally.”

Carla Suarez Navarro put the seal on Spain’s rout of Japan on Saturday in her final Fed Cup appearance on home soil when she outclassed Kurumi Nara, 6-1 6-3, to give her country an unassailable 3-0 lead at a sunny La Manga Club.

Japan did manage a victory in the doubles rubber, with Shuko Aoyama & Ena Shibahara defeating Lara Arruabarrena & Aliona Bolsova Zadoinov, 6-2 6-3, to leave the final score at 3-1 in Spain’s favour, but it was scant consolation.

Spain, playing only a second home tie in 4 years, had expected a tough battle with a Japanese team boosted by the return of two-time Grand Slam champion Naomi Osaka after she missed the event last year.

Sadly for the visitors, however, their challenge never materialised.

The tone was set when Osaka played well-below her best, blazing 50 unforced errors in an emphatic defeat to World No 78 Sara Sorribes Tormo in which she won a mere 3 games.

Suarez Navarro comfortably beat Misaki Doi to leave Japan on the brink and the theme continued on Saturday when Osaka was surprisingly left out by Captain Toshihisa Tsuchihashi, sitting subdued on a court-side chair instead, as stand-in 137th-ranked Nara attempted to keep the tie alive.

Against the 7-time Grand Slam quarter-finalist Suarez Navarro on her beloved clay, she never really stood a chance.

The draw will be made in Budapest at 6.30pm CET on Tuesday 11 February and will be live streamed on FedCup.com.

The 12 nations will compete in 4 groups of 3 teams, with the 4 group winners contesting the semi-finals before the final on Sunday 19 April.


Carla Suarez beats Kurumi Nara to secure Spain's win over Japan

© Jose Jordan/AFP via Getty Images



Previous

Next

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.