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Kerber keeps Germany in Fed Cup tennis tie against Switzerland

Australian Open tennis champion Angelique Kerber has kept Germany in the World Group tie against Switzerland. The quarterfinal is tied at 1-1 going into the final day.

In their World Group 1 match for the Fed Cup on Saturday, Australian Open champion and world number two Angelique Kerber beat Switzerland's Timea Bacsinszky 6-1, 6-3 to take the tie into a second day with it all square at 1-1.

"I felt the tiredness in the second set, but the spectators helped carry me through," Kerber said. She was playing her first match since

beating Serena Williams

to win the Australian Open final last weekend.

The Swiss team had taken the lead in the tie being played in Leipzig when 18-year-old Belinda Bencic, the world number 11, beat Andrea Petkovic 6-3, 6-4.

On Sunday, Kerber takes on Bencic, Andrea Petkovic plays Bacsinszky and the doubles sees Annika Beck and Anna-Lena Groenefeld take on the Swiss team's Viktorija Golubic and Martina Hingis.

Other ties

Defending champions the Czech Republic ended their matches on Saturday at 1-1 in Cluj-Napoca against Romania.

Venus Williams helped the United States take a 2-0 lead over Poland in Hawaii.

The Netherlands surprised Russia and lead 2-0 in Moscow after a four-hour win for Richel Hogenkamp against Svetlana Kuznetsova in the tournament's longest ever singles rubber.

The winners will go on to semifinals in April before the Fed Cup finals in November.

jm/cmk (AFP, dpa)

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