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Tennis: Dutch down Japan in Fed Cup World Group II playoffs

Japan No. 1 Kurumi Nara beat Arantxa Rus on Saturday, but lost to Kiki Bertens on Sunday as the Netherlands eventually won 3-2 in the Fed Cup World Group II playoff. Photo: AFP.

Japan No. 1 Kurumi Nara beat Arantxa Rus on Saturday, but lost to Kiki Bertens on Sunday as the Netherlands eventually won 3-2 in the Fed Cup World Group II playoff. Photo: AFP.

April 21, 2014: Arantxa Rus beat Misaki Doi 7-6, 6-3 in a battle of left-handers to give the Netherlands a decisive 3-1 lead against Japan in their Fed Cup by BNP Paribas World Group II playoffs on Sunday.

 

Shuko Aoyama and Risa Ozaki defeated Richel Hogenkamp and Michaella Krajicek 1-6, 6-3 [10-8] in the doubles to make it 3-2, but the Dutch had already defied the rankings to secure a surprise victory in front of a supportive home crowd.

 

While Rus secured the decisive point, World No. 131 Kiki Bertens was the hero for the Dutch as the six-foot 22-year-old won her second singles rubber in a 7-6, 4-6, 9-7 upset of Kurumi Nara, the World No. 45, in a thrilling three hour-plus encounter. On her fifth match point, she forced a Nara volleyed error, threw away her racket and fell on her back to celebrate the most exciting Fed Cup tie in the Netherlands in years.

 

Japan No. 2 Misaki Doi lost both her singles matches. Photo: Fed Cup.

Misaki Doi lost both her singles matches. Photo: Fed Cup.

In the third set, Bertens had to overcome cramps in both legs and received off-court treatment from the team physiotherapist after she went up 5-4. Between points, Bertens kept moving to avoid the cramps getting to her legs.

 

During changeovers, captain Paul Haarhuis kept massaging her legs as Fed Cup rules only allow one medical timeout. This worked well enough and Bertens was even able to raise her game while working the home crowd with racket and arm gestures.

 

With Nara raising her game as well, this was easily the weekend’s best match, with long rallies littered with deep, powerful groundstrokes.

 

“This was definitely up there with the best wins in my career and the level of play was good, too – top 50 level,” Bertens said. “But I’m very happy it’s finally over, to be honest, because I’m not sure I could have lasted much longer. The cramps started in my calves, went up to my thighs and just after I thought they had gone, they returned in my fingers. Every shot hurt.”

 

Nara, 22, didn’t have any regrets, even though she lost. “This was a good match and I’m happy with the way I played,” said Nara, who said she didn’t change her game plan when Bertens started having cramps. “No, you shouldn’t change your style of play, I think, when an opponent is hurt – unless she really can’t move, of course.”

 

The Netherlands celebrate a famous home win. Photo: Fed Cup.

The Netherlands celebrate a famous home win. Photo: Fed Cup.

It was then down to the clash between the 1.80-metre Rus – who lost to Nara in Saturday’s singles – and the 1.59-metre Doi, ranked World No. 100, 56 places higher than her Dutch opponent.

 

After a shaky first set from both players, which Rus only narrowly won in a tiebreak, the home star showed more aggression and precision to take the second set convincingly 6-3. The introverted Rus, 23, even showed a rare clenched fist after the final point before she was congratulated by her ecstatic teammates.

 

“This is great,” Rus said. “I’ve never played for my country at this level before and next year the stakes will be even higher. Let’s hope we draw at home so we can get the crowd behind us again.”

 

Captain Paul Haarhuis said: “What the girls have done is fantastic. I’m so, so proud of them. They fought and fought and never let their spirits down in difficult moments.”

 

WORLD GROUP SEMI-FINALS

 

Czech Republic defeated Italy 4-0

Venue: CEZ Arena, Ostrava, CZE (hard – indoor)

Lucie Safarova (CZE) d. Sara Errani (ITA) 64 61

Petra Kvitova (CZE) d. Camila Giorgi (ITA) 64 62

Petra Kvitova (CZE) d. Roberta Vinci (ITA) 63 75

Lucie Safarova (CZE) v Camila Giorgi (ITA) – match not played

Andrea Hlavackova/Klara Koukalova (CZE) d. Camila Giorgi/Karin Knapp (ITA) 62 57 [11-9]

 

Germany defeated Australia 3-1

Venue: Queensland Tennis Centre, Brisbane, AUS (hard – outdoor)

Andrea Petkovic (GER) d. Samantha Stosur (AUS) 61 76(7)

Angelique Kerber (GER) d. Casey Dellacqua (AUS) 61 60

Angelique Kerber (GER) d. Samantha Stosur (AUS) 46 60 64

Casey Dellacqua (AUS) v Andrea Petkovic (GER) – match not played

Ashleigh Barty/Casey Dellacqua (AUS) d. Julia Goerges/Anna-Lena Groenefeld (GER) 62 67(5) [10-2]

 

 

WORLD GROUP PLAYOFFS

 

Russia defeated Argentina 4-0

Venue: Adler Arena, Sochi, RUS (clay – indoor)

Elena Vesnina (RUS) d. Paula Ormaechea (ARG) 63 63

Ekaterina Makarova (RUS) d. Maria Irigoyen (ARG) 75 61

Ekaterina Makarova (RUS) d. Paula Ormaechea (ARG) 61 62

Elena Vesnina (RUS) v Maria Irigoyen (ARG) – match not played

Valeria Solovyeva/Elena Vesnina (RUS) d. Victoria Bosio/Nadia Podoroska (ARG) 62 61

 

Canada defeated Slovak Republic 3-1

Venue: PEPS, Laval University, Quebec City, CAN (hard – indoor)

Aleksandra Wozniak (CAN) d. Jana Cepelova (SVK) 46 75 75

Eugenie Bouchard (CAN) d. Kristina Kucova (SVK) 76(0) 26 61

Eugenie Bouchard (CAN) d. Jana Cepelova (SVK) 76(6) 63

Aleksandra Wozniak (CAN) v Kristina Kucova (SVK) – match not played

Janette Husarova/Anna Karolina Schmiedlova (SVK) d. Gabriela Dabrowski/Sharon Fichman (CAN) 64 57 [11-9]

 

France defeated USA 3-2

Venue: Chaifetz Arena, St. Louis, MO, USA (hard – indoor)

Caroline Garcia (FRA) d. Sloane Stephens (USA) 63 62

Madison Keys (USA) d. Alize Cornet (FRA) 67(4) 76(4) 63

Sloane Stephens (USA) d. Virginie Razzano (FRA) 62 64

Caroline Garcia (FRA) d. Madison Keys (USA) 64 63

Caroline Garcia/Virginie Razzano (FRA) d. Madison Keys/Sloane Stephens (USA) 62 75

 

Poland defeated Spain 3-2

Venue: Olympic Stadium, Barcelona, ESP (clay – outdoor)

Agnieszka Radwanska (POL) d. Silvia Soler-Espinosa (ESP) 62 62

Maria-Teresa Torro-Flor (ESP) d. Urszula Radwanska (POL) 46 60 61

Agnieszka Radwanska (POL) d. Maria-Teresa Torro-Flor (ESP) 63 62

Silvia Soler-Espinosa (ESP) d. Urszula Radwanska (POL) 61 63

Agnieszka Radwanska/Alicja Rosolska (POL) d. Anabel Medina Garrigues/Silvia Soler-Espinosa (ESP) 64 62

 

 

WORLD GROUP II PLAYOFFS

 

Romania defeated Serbia 4-1

Venue: BNR Arenas, Bucharest, ROU (clay – outdoor)

Sorana Cirstea (ROU) d. Ana Ivanovic (SRB) 36 61 62

Simona Halep (ROU) d. Bojana Jovanovski (SRB) 62 64

Ana Ivanovic (SRB) d. Simona Halep (ROU) 63 76(2)

Sorana Cirstea (ROU) d. Bojana Jovanovski (SRB) 63 67(7) 63

Irina-Camelia Begu/Monica Niculescu (ROU) d. Jovana Jaksic/Nina Stojanovic (SRB) 1-0 ret.

 

Netherlands defeated Japan 3-2

Venue: Maaspoort Sports & Events,’s-Hertogenbosch, NED (clay – indoor)

Kurumi Nara (JPN) d. Arantxa Rus (NED) 75 26 61

Kiki Bertens (NED) d. Misaki Doi (JPN) 60 76(3)

Kiki Bertens (NED) d. Kurumi Nara (JPN) 76(5) 46 97

Arantxa Rus (NED) d. Misaki Doi (JPN) 75 63

Shuko Aoyama/Risa Ozaki (JPN) d. Richel Hogenkamp/Michaella Krajicek (NED) 16 63 [10-8]

 

Sweden defeated Thailand 4-0

Venue: Sparbanken Lidkoping Arena, Lidkoping, SWE (hard – indoor)

Johanna Larsson (SWE) d. Noppawan Lertcheewakarn (THA) 61 63

Sofia Arvidsson (SWE) d. Luksika Kumkhum (THA) 64 62

Johanna Larsson (SWE) d. Luksika Kumkhum (THA) 64 62

Sofia Arvidsson (SWE) v Noppawan Lertcheewakarn (THA) – match not played

Hilda Melander/Rebecca Peterson (SWE) d. Tamarine Tanasugarn/Varatchaya Wongteanchai (THA) 64 62

 

Switzerland defeated Brazil 4-1

Venue: Clube de Tenis Catanduva, Catanduva, BRA (clay – outdoor)

Timea Bacsinszky (SUI) d. Teliana Pereira (BRA) 63 63

Belinda Bencic (SUI) d. Paula Cristina Goncalves (BRA) 63 63

Teliana Pereira (BRA) d. Belinda Bencic (SUI) 63 64

Timea Bacsinszky (SUI) d. Paula Cristina Goncalves (BRA) 75 62

Belinda Bencic/Viktorija Golubic (SUI) d. Gabriela Ce/Laura Pigossi (BRA) 62 62
For more information, visit: www.fedcup.com

 

Source: ITF

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