Anna-Lena Friedsam clinched the win for Porsche Team Germany. In the day’s second rubber, she beat Laura Pigossi in two straight sets 6-1, 6-0. The thrilled Porsche Arena crowd rose to their feet celebrating the success of the team captained by national coach Rainer Schüttler. Earlier Jule Niemeier had put the hosts ahead in the day’s first match with a 7-6 (3), 3-6, 6-2 win against the Brazilian No. 1 Beatriz Haddad Maia. She wrapped up the tense three-hour encounter with her first match point. Previously on Friday, Tatjana Maria’s hard-fought 6-3, 3-6, 7-5 victory against Laura Pigossi had levelled the scores at 1-1. The doubles was not played afterwards.
“It was a very important match for me and the team. You really could feel the pressure, especially as I haven’t had the best start to the season and consequently wasn’t so confident,” said Jule Niemeier after her win in the top rubber. “But I was boosted by the whole team and am now very proud to have won the important point.”
Anna-Lena Friedsam was also relieved after her easy win in the decisive singles. “Simply amazing. Yesterday, it looked as if we’d go behind, and now we’re winners. It really was a golden day,” she said. “I learnt my lessons from the match on Friday. Today, I was totally focussed, nothing troubled me. I’m very happy with my performance.”
Twelve years after playing for the last time in the Porsche Arena, Tatjana Maria could still be depended upon to come up with the goods. The 2022 Wimbledon semifinalist, who won the WTA tournament in Bogota one week ago, kept Porsche Team Germany in the running against Brazil on the first day of the finals qualifier against Brazil. The 35-year-old mother of two daughters defeated Laura Pigossi in three hard-fought sets 6-3, 3-6, 7-5.
“Incredible. What a crazy match. I’m so proud of winning the important point for our fantastic team,” said Tatjana Maria after the two-and-a-half-hour match. “It’s so much fun playing here. We’ll go on the attack tomorrow and give everything to reach the finals with the support of the crowd.”
Anna-Lena Friedsam loses against Beatriz Haddad Maia. In the day’s first rubber, there was little to choose between Anna-Lena Friedsam and Brazil’s top player Beatriz Haddad Maia. Playing impressive tennis, the German wrapped up the first set 6-3. In the second, the current world No. 91 also had her chances but could not take them when it came to the crunch. Playing better and better, the Brazilian duly put her team 1-0 up.
“I was very excited at playing my first ever Billie Jean King Cup tie in Germany, but the crowd gave me super support and lots of energy,” said Anna-Lena Friedsam. “I started off well, was proactive and didn’t make many mistakes. In the end, only a few points made the difference. Pity, but you just can’t let up against a world class player like Beatriz.“
Saturday’s play will decide which team goes forward to the finals. Currently, Tatjana Maria is scheduled to begin proceedings at 2 o’clock against Beatriz Haddad Maia, then Anna-Lena Friedsam will play Laura Pigossi. Should a deciding doubles be necessary, the German captain Rainer Schüttler has nominated Jule Niemeier and Laura Siegemund. They will face Beatriz Haddad Maia and Luisa Stefani. The captains can however alter the pairings for the second day of play.