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German women fail in the preliminary round at the Billie Jean King Cup

Angelique Kerber braced herself against the premature knockout with all possible means, shouting a loud “Come on” over and over again – but at the end of a long season the strength was no longer sufficient. The German tennis women have already failed in the preliminary round of the Billie Jean King Cup, the defeat against Switzerland on Tuesday buried all remaining hopes of reaching the semi-finals in Group D.

After the 7: 5, 2: 6, 2: 6 of the three-time Grand Slam winner Kerber against Olympic champion Belinda Bencic, the end was sealed before the final double. The 1: 6, 2: 6 defeat of Anna-Lena Friedsam and debutante Nastasja Schunk against Viktorija Golubic and Jil Teichmann was meaningless. Previously, Andrea Petkovic Viktorija Golubic had to admit defeat 4: 6, 5: 7. After the 1: 2 against hosts Czech Republic on Monday, the selection of the German Tennis Federation (DTB) no longer has a chance to reach the semi-finals as group winners at the premiere of the reformed team competition.

The German players experienced a real contrast program on Tuesday. While they had experienced a loud international match atmosphere the evening before on the Prague Center Court in front of a good 10,000 mainly Czech fans, only around 150 spectators lost their way to the smaller side hall against Switzerland. And the hopes of the small German fan group were directly dampened because Petkovic, like the night before, got off to a bad start against Golubic and ran after a 4-0 deficit. “These are times when I notice my age a bit,” said the 34-year-old: “It took my body 20 to 30 minutes to get going.”

But Petkovic then fought his way into the match with biting body language, even earning three set balls in the second round. But right after the missed opportunities, she conceded the decisive break – and increased the pressure on Kerber enormously.

As on Monday against the world number three and French Open winner Barbora Krejcikova, the top German player initially showed a strong performance. Kerber countered the power of the Swiss with her dreaded counter tennis and remained ice cold, especially under pressure. Bencic, on the other hand, showed weaknesses for the first time at 5: 6 – which the German number one immediately punished.

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