For the first time in since the group format was instituted in 1995, the United States will not be able to compete for the Fed Cup next year. Germany crushed the United States, 5-0, in the 2011 Fed Cup World Group Playoff in Stuttgart this weekend. Germany will advance to the 2012 Fed Cup World Group.Â The loss relegates the United States is to Fed Cup World Group II in 2012.
The draw for Fed Cupâ€™s World group 2 will be made during the summer. The 2012 Fed Cup World Group II features the four nations that lost in the 2011 World GroupÂ Playoffs and the four winners from the 2012 World Group II Playoffs.Â Â Seeding will be determined by the Fed Cup Nations Ranking.
GERMANY defeated USA 5-0
Venue: Porsche Arena, Stuttgart, GER (clay â€“ indoors)
Andrea Petkovic (GER) d. Christina McHale (USA) 63 64
Julia Goerges (GER) d. Melanie Oudin (USA) 62 76(5)
Andrea Petkovic (GER) d. Melanie Oudin (USA) 62 64
Sabine Lisicki (GER) d. Christina McHale (USA) 63 64
Julia Goerges / Anna-Lena Groenefeld (GER) d. Liezel Huber/Vania King
U.S. Fed Cup Captain Mary Joe Fernandez
When asked about reflecting on the weekend: â€œTough weekend. We got to give a lot of credit to the entire German team. They really played great throughout the weekend from start to finish. They were tough and played extremely well with a lot of confidence. Weâ€™re disappointed because we go into every tie with high expectations, even when weâ€™re the underdog. We did the best we could, and fought for every point.
On possible turning points:Â â€œYou look back and think if whether there was a turning point. But there were a couple of openings here and there that could have turned the tie a little bit. But they were the better team. â€
When positives can be taken away: â€œI think the positive thing is that every time you go out there, you learn. Itâ€™s a learning experience, and it really doesnâ€™t matter how old you are. This is a very young team. But theyâ€™ve come a long way in a very short amount of time. Thereâ€™s still a lot to prove and a lot to learn, and get better. I think thatâ€™s the most important thing. Overall, they all fought and gave it their all. This team made the United States and me as captain very proud.â€
On the pressures of staying in the World Group: â€œYou approach every match positively, no matter where youâ€™re playing it. Obviously its tough since the United States is out of the World Group for the first time in history. But at the same time, this young team has been to the Fed Cup finals which is unbelievable. So it makes you appreciate that kind of success, and also makes you realize that thereâ€™s still a lot of work to be done. It wasnâ€™t the pressure of the tie and trying to stay in the world group, we just came up against a better team.â€
On next steps: â€œContinue to improve and work hard. Get stronger and better. You just keep building. Thatâ€™s really all you have to do at every age and every level. This team has improved every single year, and theyâ€™re going to continue to improving.
On going into World Group II next year: â€œWe want to win every time we play no matter what group weâ€™re in. We go out there, we win together, we lose together. But we give it our all. It would be nice to get a home tie. Its back to doing our best, and hopefully getting back into the World Group.
On Venusâ€™s role: â€œVenus came here to support the team and obviously injured so she couldnâ€™t participate. She made herself to come and then got hurt in Australia, So unfortunately she was unable to play but was a great team member.â€
On playing Petkovic: â€œI definitely started off well and after I lost my serve at two-all, she took her game to another level and got really confident. She started going for better serves. I donâ€™t think she served that big in her match yesterday. Today it looked like she could go for even more, by stepping in more and controlling the points. Sheâ€™s playing well, and has been playing well. And when you play that well, it can be hard to beat opponents like that. â€
On losing the World Group: â€œI knew if I loss this match then our team would go down to World Group II, and that was a little weight on my shoulders knowing that. But I try not to think about it.â€
When asked about her experience in competing in her second Fed Cup: â€œI learned a lot from these matches, and I have a lot to take away from it. I was disappointed that I couldnâ€™t do more, but Iâ€™m going to take the positive side from this experience and keep going.â€
When asked about the turning point in the doubles match: â€œFor me it was when I was hit by the ball by accident. Although we lost the tie, like Mary Joe said, everybody tried their best and it didnâ€™t matter what the score was going into doubles because Vania and I tried our hardest. This is a team that played their best.
On strategy going into doubles: â€œOur strategy was to play aggressive and to move and to cross. Maybe this is the surface where you donâ€™t do that, and just stay in the back. But this is also the beginning of clay court season for us, so this match was a great learning experience for me going into my next match. I will approach some things a little different.â€