Fed Cup Capsules: Unlikely Belarus Surging, U.S. Plays Nazi National Anthem
by Jeremy Davis | February 13th, 2017, 1:24 am

At Czech Republic, hard indoor
Spain’s Garbine Muguruza beat Barbora Strycova in three, and Czech Karolina Pliskova defeated Lara Arruabarrena in straights to even the tie after the first day. On Day 2 the Czechs took control as Pliskova rolled Muguruza 6-2, 6-2 and Strycova beat Arruabarrena 6-4, 6-4 to clinch it.

It is the ninth straight year into the semis for the Czechs. The Czechs will next travel to the U.S. for the semifinals.

At USA, hard outdoor

The U.S. “B” team cruises past the German “B” team as world No. 1 Serena Williams, world No. 2 Angie Kerber and Venus Williams say no to competing for their countries. American Alison Riske beats Andrea Petkovic in the first match, and American CoCo Vandeweghe tops Julia Goerges in the second match. In the stupid Fed Cup format where players play back-to-back singles and the doubles doesn’t matter, Vandeweghe beats Petkovic 6-0 in the third to seal it for the U.S.

It’s the first Fed Cup semifinal in seven years for the U.S. In the odd deciding match, Vandeweghe was down a set and a break suffering from heat stroke, but dug out the second set then won the third set 6-0. “In tennis it can change so quickly,” Petkovic said. “And then she was serving so well in the third set. I never found my rhythm and it was difficult for me to grind my way back into the third set.” The U.S. will next host the juggernaut Czech Republic. The U.S. also played the German national anthem from Nazi times during the tie. Doh!

At Belarus, hard indoor

This tie was a shit show from the start, with Belarus advancing without new mother and former No. 1 Victoria Azarenka. Belarus sported no players in the Top 100 before teen Aliaksandra Sasnovich upset Dutchwoman Michaella Krajicek in three, then Dutchwoman Kiki Bertens barely stopped unheralded Aryna Sabalenka in three to even the tie at 1-1.

On Sunday Sasnovich surprised Bertens in straights, then Sabalenka defeated Krajicek in straights to clinch the unlikely result. Belarus in the semifinals will host Switzerland.

At Switzerland, indoor hard

The strong Swiss team of Timea Bacsinszky and Belinda Bencic moved into the semis with a convincing win over France, setting up a meeting with the upstart Belarus.

The tie started out at 1-1 when Bacsinszky defeated Alize Cornet in straights and France’s Kristna Mladenovic defeated Bencic in straights. On Sunday the Swiss put the hammer down when Bacsinszky edged Mladenovic 7-5 in the third, and Bencic clinched it with a straight-set win over Paula Parmentier. The Swiss in the semis will visit Belarus.


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2 Comments for Fed Cup Capsules: Unlikely Belarus Surging, U.S. Plays Nazi National Anthem

Dennis Says:

If you had asked anybody before this what the anthem of Germany was, I bet everyone outside Germany would have said “Deutschland Uber Alles” (if they had any clue at all to begin with. Other than a small handful of really famous ones, how many people know much about most other nations’ anthems?). I bet few people outside Germany know that they “officially” now only sing the third verse rather than the whole of the “Deutschlandlied”. It’s second verse – about German wine, women and song – is quite delightful too and should be heard more often.

The whole controversy over the original “Deutschlandlied” is silly anyway. It is not a “Nazi-era anthem”. It was written in the 1840s with the intent of promoting German unity. The “uber alles” part does not mean Germany should rule over all, but was a plea for German unity above all to be the goal for which all Germans should strive. One can argue whether historically German unification was a good thing (personally I think it a tragedy that it was achieved under Prussian/Hohenzollern hegemony rather than under Austrian/Habsburg leadership in a loose confederation reviving the Holy Roman Empire that Napoleon had destroyed, but I digress). The key point here is that the “Deutschlandlied” was not a plea for German imperial world domination (even if some both inside and outside Germany later misinterpreted it as that), but simply for the unification of the various German states.

Many nations have anthems that express the ideas and aspirations of a certain historical period in time, and it is anachronistic to disclaim the entire “Deutschlandlied” because some idiots today don’t understand it in its historic context, think everything to do with German culture and history is tainted forever by National Socialism, and that Germans should forever be apologizing.

Funny how people take Germans to task for “Deutschland Uber Alles” by ripping the meaning of the first verse from its proper historical context, but I’ve never heard anyone demand the French change their anthem. Talk about offensive and downright repulsive anthems! The “Marseillaise” is the most bloodthirsty anthems ever, a paean extolling the virtues of revolutionary terror, violence, murder, mayhem, and blood running in the streets all in the name of Jacobin political abstractions. The “Deutschlandlied” (including the now-maligned first verse) is an innocuous lullaby compared to the bloodthirsty “Marseillaise.”

SG1 Says:

This isn’t about anthems or verses in anthems. It’s about intent. When the U.S. played the anthem, we’re they doing it with the intent to upset the German team? Was it just a case of ignorance? The American anthem is quite violent. Apparently, the French anthem is too. If the U.S. intentionally played a version of the German anthem that the Nazis specifically associated themselves with then shame on the U.S. for doing so because this is a classless act. If it was an act of ignorance then straighten out the buffoon who made the mistake and move on.

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