Mladenovic Heroics Save France; Fed Cup Results
by Staff | February 12th, 2018, 10:36 am
  • 13 Comments

The defending champion United States advanced to a semifinal meeting at France, and Germany and the Czech Republic set up a semifinal clash after the first round of Fed Cup Group I play over the weekend.


Germany is the only unseeded country into the semis after ousting top-seeded Belarus.

Here’s a look at the weekend results:

GERMANY d. BELARUS 3-2

Tatjana Maria lost her Day 1 singles, but roared back with a three-set singles win on Day 2, then won the deciding doubles with veteran Anna-Lena Groenefeld after losing the first set.

Aryna Sabalenda kept Belarus in it with two three-set singles wins, but the question remained what could have been had the Belarus squad been able to call on former No. 1 Victoria Azarenka, who is still dealing with child custody issues. It was the German Maria’s first Fed Cup tie in seven years.

CZECH REPUBLIC d. SWITZERLAND 3-1

Petra Kvitova beat Swiss Viktorija Golubic in three sets and Barbora Strycova defeated Belinda Bencic in straights to give the Czechs a 2-0 lead on Day 1. On Sunday Kvitova clinched it in the first match, rolling over Bencic 6-2, 6-4.

It is a 10th straight appearance in the semifinals for the Czechs. “It was better today than yesterday, when I played in the Fed Cup again after such a long time away and needed time to get used to it,” Kvitova said. “It was a good game from both of us, but I wasn’t so nervous as yesterday.” The Czechs were without former No. 1 Karolina Pliskova, who missed the tie due to illness.

FRANCE d. BELGIUM 3-2

In a tie filled with heroics, Frenchwoman Kristina Mladenovic came out on top, winning both her singles then the deciding doubles with countrywoman Amandine Hess to see France through to the semifinals.

Belgian Elise Mertens opened the tie with a win over Frenchwoman Pauline Parmentier, then Mladenovic evened it at 1-1 after defeating Belgian Kirsten Flipkens in straights. After Mladenovic won the opener Sunday, Belgian Alison van Uytvanck came off the bench to beat Parmentier 6-1, 6-3 to force the deciding doubles, where Mladenovic-Hesse beat Flipkens-Mertens 6-4, 2-6, 6-2. France was without top players Caroline Garcia and Alize Cornet who declined to play. “My stomach was so painful,” said the Fed Cup rookie Hesse of her nerves in the doubles. “I was trying to stay focused and Kiki helped me a lot with this. She was telling me every point, ‘Relax, we will do it, take your time.’ I think it helped me a lot today.”

USA d. NETHERLANDS 3-1

The defending champion USA swept to a 3-0 win behind two straight-set victories by Venus Williams and a three-set win by CoCo Vandeweghe over Dutchwoman Richel Hogenkamp 4-6, 7-6(6), 6-3.

The world-beating doubles team of Venus and Serena Williams was anything but in Serena’s 2018 tour debut. The elder Williams was off her game, and the younger Williams did not look fit and was a step slow as the Americans lost to the unheralded Dutch team of Lesley Kerkhove and Demi Schuurs 6-2, 6-3.

WORLD GROUP II RESULTS

Slovakia d. Russia 4-1
Australia d. Ukraine 3-2
Romania d. Canada 3-1
Italy d. Spain 3-2

 


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13 Comments for Mladenovic Heroics Save France; Fed Cup Results

Humble Rafa Says:

he world-beating doubles team of Venus and Serena Williams was anything

Sissies are playing to be eligible for the summer olympics.


RZ Says:

With Serena’s health complications after giving birth, it may take a while for her to regain her form. But great that she gave it a try during Fed Cup.


Willow Says:

I Think she just wants to test the water, and get ready for the FO, if shes not ready by then it could be a very open GS, as Sharapova also seems a bit out of sorts with her game ….


rognadfan Says:

Sharapova might be done winning FO, for life, if you ask me. With that 1D game, it becomes extremely difficult to just hit your way through 7 games in a row, and that too on a clay tournament. But I hope she proves me wrong.

For Serena, I agree with Willow and believe it or not with ‘Mr. Obnoxious’ -HR.
While its pretty clear that she is testing the water, she knows she will be fully back by the Olympics but to be eligible to play there that she needs to play the Fed Cup.


RZ Says:

@rognadfan, I felt like Sharapova’s success at the FO and on clay came more as a result of a void in clay-strong players after Henin retired (though all credit to Sharapova for improving her clay game to take advantage of that). Until last year, when Halep had a strong clay season despite losing in the FO final, there wasn’t a strong favorite for winning the big clay tournaments. Hopefully Halep will finally get her first slam this year at the FO.


RZ Says:

@Willow – I think with the lung embolisms making a return after Serena gave birth, it will slow down her progress. I think she would have bounced back fairly quickly if she had an easy delivery, but embolisms are a serious health condition, and from what I read she’s lucky to be alive as the medical staff in the maternity ward didn’t seem to believe her when she said she was having issues.


Willow Says:

RZ Right i didnt realize she had had a difficult time giving birth ….


Willow Says:

Well yes there was a gap after Henin retired, Sharapova was also beaten by Li Na the year before she won it, and Serena although shes brilliant anywhere clay is still the worst GS for her, and has always blown a bit hot and cold at the FO ….


Willow Says:

Stan lost so Federer wont be playing him if he gets through ….


RZ Says:

@Willow – here is the Vogue article where Serena discusses her health issues after giving birth. https://www.vogue.com/article/serena-williams-vogue-cover-interview-february-2018
Here is the pertinent part if you don’t want to read the whole thing. :-)

“The next day, while recovering in the hospital, Serena suddenly felt short of breath. Because of her history of blood clots, and because she was off her daily anticoagulant regimen due to the recent surgery, she immediately assumed she was having another pulmonary embolism. (Serena lives in fear of blood clots.) She walked out of the hospital room so her mother wouldn’t worry and told the nearest nurse, between gasps, that she needed a CT scan with contrast and IV heparin (a blood thinner) right away. The nurse thought her pain medicine might be making her confused. But Serena insisted, and soon enough a doctor was performing an ultrasound of her legs. “I was like, a Doppler? I told you, I need a CT scan and a heparin drip,” she remembers telling the team. The ultrasound revealed nothing, so they sent her for the CT, and sure enough, several small blood clots had settled in her lungs. Minutes later she was on the drip. “I was like, listen to Dr. Williams!”
But this was just the first chapter of a six-day drama. Her fresh C-section wound popped open from the intense coughing spells caused by the pulmonary embolism, and when she returned to surgery, they found that a large hematoma had flooded her abdomen, the result of a medical catch-22 in which the potentially lifesaving blood thinner caused hemorrhaging at the site of her C-section. She returned yet again to the OR to have a filter inserted into a major vein, in order to prevent more clots from dislodging and traveling into her lungs.”


j-kath Says:

Gosh, RZ….haven’t bothered to read articles on Serena assuming it was simply a bunch of words thrown around re. what she has for breakfast. Feel a bit of a heel. Hope she gets well quickly. Believe she has been invited to the Royal Wedding in May by Meghan and Harry.


rognadfan Says:

Thanks for sharing the good info guys.
I too was largely unaware of her health issues after giving birth to the baby, which might change everything as far as her full comeback is concerned. Wish here the very best of luck.

RZ-
I too agree, Maria’s RG success that year had a lot to do with the void you mention; but yes, full credit to her.


Willow Says:

Thanks for the info RZ, i had no idea things were that serious for Serena ….


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