Germany have gone out of the women's tennis' premier team tournament. After a positive German start on Sunday, Russia won the tie 3-2 to set up a final with eight-time winners the Czech Republic.
Germany have failed in their attempt to win a third Fed Cup, losing 3-2 to Russia in the semifinals. The Germans had come back from a 2-0 deficit on Saturday by winning both of Sunday's singles rubbers. Andrea Petkovic beat Svetlana Kuznetsova 6-2, 6-1 and Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova was trounced by Angelique Kerber 6-1, 6-0 in just 52 minutes.
That sent the tie into a decisive doubles rubber, and hosts Russia came up big in Sochi. Pavlyuchenkova and Elena Vesnina turned in a dominant display, winning 6-2, 6-3 against Petkovic and Lisicki. The German team simply ran out of gas.
"I don't want to know what would have happened if it would have gone three sets," Petkovic admitted. "It was very, very difficult, and even though it was a short match, I didn't feel great physically."
Russia will now face defending champions Czech Republic, who beat France 3-1, for the title. The Czechs will have home advantage in the November final.
rd / jc