German women’s tennis remains part of the world group at the Billie Jean King Cup. The satisfaction of success in Croatia is great. The new generation has mastered its first test.
Pregnant Angelique Kerber posted pictures of the beach on social media, and Andrea Petkovic, who quit, worked as a TV expert.
But even without their longtime leaders, the German women’s tennis player managed to solve the complicated away task in Croatia and managed to stay in the Billie Jean King World Cup group with three singles players for the first time. “The girls can be proud of themselves. This win is very important for us and for their development,” German team manager Rainer Schuettler said after the 3-1 win in Rijeka.
Falling out of the top 16 tennis country could have had dire consequences for German women’s tennis. “It is not easy to get out of the second tier of European group. It would have been a difficult journey,” said Barbara Rittner, head of the German women’s team. “We all knew what was at stake here and so we feel very relieved.”
For years, it was women who provided German tennis with positive headlines. Kerber, Petkovic, Julia Görges, Sabine Lisicki – this quartet gave German fans a lot of great moments. But Petkovic and Georgi are now ending their football careers, Kerber is on maternity leave at the moment – who knows if and when the three-time Grand Slam winner will return next. Lisicki is still playing, but after several serious injuries, he is only 380th in the world rankings.
New generation masters of Croatia obstacle
And so it was up to the new generation in Rijeka, which so far only Julie Niemeyer has reached the expanded global elite. So the 23-year-old from Dortmund was put under too much pressure on Friday against 16-year-old Ole Petra Marchenko. Instead, 20-year-old Eva Les beat out Croatian top seed Petra Martic and scored an important point.
“It was an almost perfect match from Eva,” Schuettler praised, but nonetheless left out the Kyiv-born German champion and lives in Hamburg on Saturday. Instead, Anna-Lena Friedsam made her surprising debut in the prestigious team competition, known as the FA Cup, as Niemeier and Lys before her. The 28-year-old scored the crucial third point against Marchenko, after Niemeyer bravely made up for her initial defeat against Anna Kongo.
When victory was certain in Croatia, the German players danced in a circle with Schütler, Rittner, and the rest of the support staff. In the evening there was a small celebration in the bar. “The girls earned more than that,” said Schuettler, who only gave way. “I don’t care when they go to bed. The main thing is not too early.”
But on Sunday, parts of the team have already participated in the following tournaments. After all, Lys (123) and Friedsam (145) are not in a good position to automatically be in the main draw for the first Grand Slam of the new season in Australia. Unlike Kerber and Co. They must therefore seize every opportunity to collect points and perhaps nonetheless avoid the complicated qualification in Melbourne.
The new German tennis women are still far from the successes of the golden generation around Kerber and Petkovic & Co.. But in Rijeka, they point out that the frightening gap may not be as large as feared. “Young players are good enough for that. The sooner they play, the better with turbulence,” Schuettler said. Especially since the other young players are moving on to Nastasja Schunk or Noma Noha Akugue.
“Don’t worry too much,” Petkovic said as a tennis channel expert. “We have a very good future ahead.” “You have to be patient sometimes. It will take another two or three years, but they have shown what they have made here,” Rittner said, praising the youngest German team in many years. “We will continue to have a lot of fun with them at the Billie Jean King Cup.” Probably as early as 2023, when it starts on April 14/15. April in the much-anticipated home match against currently ranked 15th in the world. Beatrice Haddad Maya leaves. (dpa)
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