Serbia, Czechs Gain Fed Cup Final; Women’s Top 8 in Stuttgart; Previews
Serbia, Defending Champion Czechs to Meet in Fed Cup Final
Is the Fed Cup getting — dare we say — exciting?
Over the weekend the defending champion Czech Republic moved into the final behind current Wimbledon holder Petra Kvitova, and in the final they will meet the hungry Serbian squad, powered by former No. 1s Ana Ivanovic and Jelena Jankovic, with the Serbs in their first-ever final.
The Serbs edged the traditional powerhouse Russian team when victories by Ivanovic over Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova Jelena Jankovic over Svetlana Kuznetsova on Sunday sealed the tie.
“I have goosebumps right now because its so exciting for us,” Jankovic said. “At the end I was thinking, ‘Oh my God, we’re going to get in the final.’ I was like, ‘Just get the serve in, just play the point.’ I was so happy to win in the end, it wasn’t easy.”
The Czechs reached their third straight final after rolling over Italy 3-0.
In the first match on Sunday Kvitova beat Francesca Schiavone 6-4, 7-6 to clinch the win. Schiavone got tight serving for the first set, and in the second-set tiebreak Kvitova ran away with it.
“It’s an unbelievable feeling,” Kvotiva said. “I really wanted to be again in the final. Every Fed Cup I’m playing I’m nervous. Francesca played unbelievable tennis. I’m very happy I won.”
In Fed Cup Playoff round matches the U.S. (d. Ukraine), Japan (d. Belgium), the Slovak Republic (d. Spain), and Australia (d. Germany) gained spots in the 2013 Fed Cup World Group.
Porsche Tennis Grand Prix
Stuttgart, Germany; Surface: red clay
Seeds: Victoria Azarenka, Maria Sharapova, Petra Kvitova, Agnieszka Radwanska, Sam Stosur, Caroline Wozniacki, Marion Bartoli, Li Na
Floaters: Ana Ivanovic, Daniela Hantuchova, Dominika Cibulkova, Lucie Safarova, Jelena Jankovic, Angelique Kerber, Francesca Schiavone, Julia Georges, Flavia Pennetta, Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova
Notes: Tourney has a full slate of the Top 8 on the WTA Rankings, and 17 of the Top 20; anything can happen on the WTA tour on red clay, and the dangerous floaters outnumber the seeds, some of who are not that strong on the dirt, in Stuttgart; openers of potential with upset possibilities are (8) Na vs. Safarova, (6) Wozniacki vs. Jankovic in a battle of former No. 1s (winner to face Kerber-Roberta Vinci winner), (3) Kvitova after a bye likely opening against former French Open champ Schiavone, and (2) Sharapova after a bye likely facing Pennetta; former champs in the field are Goerges (2011) and Jankovic (2008).
Barcelona Open Banc Sabadell
Barcelona, Spain; Surface: red clay
Seeds: Rafael Nadal, Andy Murray, David Ferrer, Tomas Berdych, Janko Tipsarevic, Nicolas Almagro, Feliciano Lopez, Kei Nishikori, Fernando Verdasco, Radek Stepanek, Milos Raonic, Marcel Granollers, Kevin Anderson, Juan Ignacio Chela, Bernard Tomic, Pablo Andujar
Floaters: (Q) David Goffin, (WC) Ruben Ramirez-Hidalgo, Ernests Gulbis
Notes: Seven Spaniards among 16 seeds; Nadal 30-1 career in Barcelona; seeds Murray, Tipsarevic, Anderson have losing records in Barcelona; Nadal beat Ferrer in last year’s final; Nadal after a bye opens against either countryman Guillermo Garcia-Lopez or Olivier Rochus; other openers of interest are (16) Andujar vs. (Q) Goffin, (10) Stepanek vs. Ramirez-Hidalgo, and (15) Tomic vs. Gulbis; former champs in the field are (Nadal 2011, ’09-05) and Verdasco (2010).
BRD Nastase Tiriac Trophy
Bucharest, Romania; Surface: red clay
Seeds: Gilles Simon, Florian Mayer, Jurgen Melzer, Viktor Troicki, Marcos Baghdatis, Andreas Seppi, Lukasz Kubot, Ivan Dodig
Floaters: Potito Starace, Xavier Malisse, Grigor Dimitrov
Notes: Simon hasn’t played the event since 2008, but is going for his third straight Bucharest crown; seeds Troicki, Baghdatis and Dodig make debuts at event; Tough openers include (9) Chardy vs. Starace in an all-French, and (2) Mayer after a bye vs. the winner of X-Man and Dimitrov; former champs in the field are Mayer (2011), Simon (2008-07), and Melzer (2006).
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