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Germany fall to Switzerland in Fed Cup quarterfinals

Switzerland's Martina Hingis and Belinda Bencic have defeated Germany 3-2 in a deciding match of the Fed Cup quarterfinals. The German team has to now fight to keep its place in the World Group.

Martina Hingis and Belinda Bencic scored a 6-3, 6-2 win over Germany's Andrea Petkovic and Anna-Lena Groenefeld on Sunday. The match took place shortly after 35-year-old Hingis won her 12th Grand Slam doubles title in the Australian Open alongside Indian Sania Mirza last week.

"I was cheering them on for the first four matches and then I had to go out there," Hingis said after the match.

The 18-year-old Bencic said she was delighted to get the chance to play with Hingis. "She did all the great volleys and all the doubles stuff. I was just happy I could play with her. I am not a doubles specialist," Bencic, who is seeded 11th in the world for singles, told AFP news agency.

Swiss team head Heinz Günthardt was positive about his team's performance in the Fed Cup.

"I have no idea where we can go, but I'm excited to find out… Martina is one of the best double players in the world right now and Belinda is very solid," he told reporters.

"It was a lot of fun to play here, but of course, the disappointment is greater," Germany's team head Barbara Rittner told reporters.

The German team was demoralized after

Australian Open winner Angelique Kerber

, who defeated Serena Williams over a week back, lost to teenager Bencic on Saturday. The players were hoping that 21-year-old Annika Beck's victory over Timea Bacsinszky would level scores. However, Germany's loss on Sunday sealed the team's fate.

The team will now have to play to keep their place in the World Group. The semifinals will be played on April 16 and 17 in France.

mg/sms (AFP, dpa)

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