It’s USA All the Way at Maui Fed Cup
The United States moved into the Fed Cup World Group Semifinals for the first time since 2010, with a 4-0 sweep over Germany at the Royal Lahaina Resort on Maui on Saturday and Sunday, Feb. 11 and 12.
Over 2,000 enthusiastic tennis fans attended each day of the 2017 Fed Cup tie.
On Saturday, Alison Riske won her singles match to give the lead to the U.S. before rain suspended play for the day. Alison Riske opened the day with her first Fed Cup win over Andrea Petkovic, 7(12)-6(10), 6-2. Play was halted twice during the match—once in the first set at 3-3 in the tiebreak and prior to the start of the second set. Riske, 28, and Petkovic, 29, had never met before on the WTA Tour. Riske is now 1-1 in Fed Cup singles play, while Petkovic is 12-7.
In the second match of the day, world No. 20 Coco Vandeweghe took the first set from Julia Goerges 6-3, and then led 3-1 in the second, before rain postponed play, just after Goerges took a spill on the court. Vandeweghe earned the second team point for the U.S. when Goerges was unable to continue competing the next morning due to a right knee injury.
As sea of umbrellas exited the courts on Saturday, many tennis fans Maui Now interviewed said they fully intended to witness more spectacular tennis on Sunday, when drier conditions were forecast.
And they did indeed come in full force on Sunday—all 2,345 of them.
Vandeweghe met Petkovic on a sunny court with no wind—much different conditions than the gusty, damp weather they experienced the previous day.
Tennis fans would not be disappointed in any way on Sunday; quality action began right away in the first set.
At 30-40, Petkovic was in the hot seat as USA fans chanted “break time.” And break time it was.
Vandeweghe started her service game 1-0.
Vandeweghe was serving well in game two, but “super Petko,” one of Petkovic’s nicknames, reciprocated with quality returns. At deuce, Vandeweghe hit a ball long, giving Petko the ad. Petkovic then hit a service return out of Vandeweghe’s reach, breaking back immediately.
It was neck-and-neck in the third game with Petko serving. At 30-15, a sizzling return by Vandeweghe brought the score to 30-30. An unreturnable serve made it 40-30, and Petko finished up the game.
Serving at 1-2, Vandeweghe persevered, even after double-faulting, tying the game score at 2 all.
Petko also double-faulted in her next service game. At deuce, Vandeweghe hit a crosscourt, topspin forehand winner for the advantage. She pushed on during the next point, a long rally, breaking Petko again and bringing the score to 3-2 Vandeweghe.
Vandeweghe’s first serve was an ace to the wide corner. Then she put away Petko’s return on her second serve with a wide, mid-court shot that Petko couldn’t handle. Vandeweghe made an unsuccessful trip to the net in the following point, bringing the score to 30-15. The score proceeded to deuce when Vandeweghe again approached the net but was unable to deliver. Again at the net, Vandeweghe hit her volley out, giving Petko the advantage. Petko broke Vandeweghe for the second time, bringing the score to 3 all.
It was Petko’s serve in game 7. Although she double-faulted at 30-15, she pulled the game out with a spectacular backhand to the baseline.
Vandeweghe, now serving down a break at 3-4, threw her racket on the court after an error. Petko ended the game, breaking Vandeweghe for the third time with a great, ungettable return.
During Petko’s serve at 5-3, Vandeweghe only chalked up one point in this last game of this first set. Petko took the first set 6-3.
Vandeweghe began the second set with an ace, several missed first serves and a double fault. At deuce, Petko’s return was called out. During the next point, Vandeweghe approached the net, but was unsuccessful, bringing the score back to deuce. After a long rally, Petko persevered. Vandeweghe double-faulted on the last point of the game, giving Petko an early break in the second set.
USA fans were heard saying, “It’s not looking good.”
Vandeweghe got only one point during Petko’s next service game, bringing the score to 2-0 Germany at its conclusion.
The tables turned during Vandeweghe’s next service game, with several successful trips to the net and Petko only scoring only one point.
Petkovic, serving at 2-1 in the next game, brought the score to 40-30, after Vandeweghe again bounced her racket off the court after an error. Vandeweghe’s forehand, crosscourt baseliner made it deuce. The next point was Petko’s, giving her the advantage. A great, early service return brought the score back to deuce. A double-fault gave Vandeweghe the advantage. Another double-fault gave Vandeweghe the break.
Game five, with Vandeweghe serving at 2-2, included a rare call challenge at 30-40. The replay gave Vandeweghe the point. At deuce, Vandeweghe squatted down before serving. Many fans thought she might be suffering from leg cramps… Petko took the next two points as Vandeweghe limped off the court.
Petko, serving at 3-2, seemed to make easy work of game six. Vandeweghe, not moving and limping slightly, scored no points during game 6 of the second set. Set score, 4-2 Germany.
An apparent medical time-out was called. Vandeweghe appeared to have a rub down of her leg or legs. Three-minute medical time-outs with treatment from a trainer are legal in professional tennis.
Although Vandeweghe double-faulted on the first point of the next game, the score reached deuce due in part to subsequent, quality first serves. Another great serve gave her the advantage. Petko’s swing and a whiff at a ball that seemed to skim the baseline gave Vandeweghe the game.
Petko, serving at 4-3, faced a determined Vandeweghe, who, despite her still visible limp, broke her serve, bringing the score to 4-4.
As the wind picked up in game 9, it seemed that both players altered their shot choices, using more slices and less topspin, reigning in the power shots.
Although Pektko grabbed the first point, Vandeweghe marched ahead, despite a double-fault, to win her service game.
Petko, now down 4-5, was no match for Vandeweghe in this last game of set two, double-faulting once and scoring no points. Vandeweghe took the second set 6-4.
A third set would now decide the match.
During the break between sets, Petkovic could be seen talking to Coach Barbara Rittner. As the coach turned to walk away, Petko pounded her racket on the court several times.
Vandeweghe was relentless in during set 3, serving up aces, and effective first and even second serves. She challenged Petko with solid service returns, backhand slices, cross-court and down-the-line combinations and straight-up cross-court winners.
During Petko’s serve at 0-5, Vandeweghe’s sharply angled backhand slice into midcourt ended Petko’s hopes for a comeback.
Petkovic won just 13 points in the third set. Vandeweghe won the final 10 games—a streak that is very unusual in professional tennis.
Vandeweghe clinched the tie for the U.S. with a 3-6, 6-4, 6-0, win over Petkovic. It was Vandeweghe’s first win over Petkovic; Petkovic had won the last three meetings. Vandeweghe is now 3-3 in Fed Cup singles matches; Petkovic is 12-8.
Following the 3-0 sweep, Riske’s match against Goerges did not take place.
World No. 1 doubles player Bethanie Mattek-Sands then teamed with Shelby Rogers to face Laura Siegemund and Carina Witthoeft in the dead doubles rubber. Siegemund served very tentatively during the match, and it was apparent that she was hurt. The U.S. took an early 4-1 lead before the Germans retired due to Siegemund’s elbow injury.
The United States will face the Czech Republic at home in World Group Semifinals, held April 22-23, for a chance to compete for the 2017 Fed Cup title. Germany will compete in the World Group Playoffs in April to remain in the World Group for 2018.
Singles A: Alison Riske (USA) def. Andrea Petkovic (GER) 7-6(10), 6-2
Singles B: Coco Vandeweghe (USA) def. Julia Goerges (GER) 6-3, 3-1, retired
Singles C: Coco Vandeweghe (USA) def. Andrea Petkovic (GER) 3-6, 6-4, 6-0
Singles D: Alison Riske (USA) vs. Julia Goerges (GER) not played
Doubles: Bethanie Mattek-Sands/Shelby Rogers (USA) def. Laura Siegemund/Carina Witthoeft (GER) 4-1, retired
WORLD GROUP FIRST ROUND RESULTS
United States def. Germany, 4-0
Czech Republic def. Spain, 3-2
Belarus def. Netherlands, 4-1
Switzerland def. France, 4-1