Germany didn't get off to the best possible start in their Fed Cup semifinal, as Julia Görges suffered a straight sets defeat to Svetlana Kuznetsova and Sabine Lisicki was beaten by Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova.
Julia Görges lost in straight sets against Svetlana Kuznetsova, leaving Germany 1-0 down against Russia in the Fed Cup World Group semifinals. Kuznetsova won 6-4, 6-4, taking advantage of an erratic Görges, who ended with a first-serve completion rate of just 53 percent and made 45 unforced errors to the Russian's 27.
"There were two games in each set where I did not play well," said Görges afterwards. "I didn't get enough spin on my forehand and often hit it too long. Other than that though, I can't blame myself."
With this win Kuznetsova, currently 24th in the WTA rankings, became Russia's most successful player in Fed Cup history, clinching a total of overall 27 wins.
Later on Saturday, Germany's Sabine Lisicki was beaten by Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova in three sets. Lisicki won the opening set 6-4, but was beaten in a tie-break for the second before Pavlyuchenkova sealed the win in a comfortable third set 6-3.
On Sunday, Görges will take on Pavlyuchenkova and Lisicki will play Kuznetsova, before a final doubles match sees Germany's Angelique Kerber and Andrea Petkovic against the Russian duo of Elena Vesnina and Vera Zvonareva. The latter replaces Russia's world No. 2 Maria Sharapova, who withdrew from the match on Tuesday with a leg injury.