Petkovic, Kerber victories extend Germany lead over Slovakia
BRATISLAVA, Slovakia (AP) - Germany took a commanding 2-0 lead over Slovakia in the Fed Cup first round after Andrea Petkovic and Angelique Kerber won the opening singles on Saturday.
Petkovic saved a match point to upset Australian Open finalist Dominika Cibulkova 2-6, 7-6 (7), 6-2, and No. 9-ranked Kerber overcame Daniela Hantuchova 7-6 (9), 6-1.
Germany needs one more win to advance to the semifinal to face Australia or Russia in April.
In the second-set tiebreaker, the 36th-ranked, hard-hitting Petkovic wasted five straight set points before saving a match point at 6-7 on the indoor hard-court.
''It was a turning point,'' Cibulkova said.
In the final set, Petkovic jumped ahead 3-0 and broke the 13th-ranked Cibulkova again to take control at 5-1. Cibulkova briefly came back with a break but Petkovic secured another break in the final game, converting her first match point with a passing forehand winner.
Gerber broke Hantuchova in the fourth and sixth games of the second set before serving out their match.
Hantuchova lost her serve three times in the opening set but managed to come back each time to force a tiebreaker. The Slovak wasted two set points and saved Kerber's two before sending a forehand too long on the German's third set point.
The reverse singles and the doubles, with Hantuchova expected to team up with Magdalena Rybarikova against Julia Goerges and Anna-Lena Groenefeld, are scheduled for Sunday.
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