Germany beats Belarus 3-2 to make Fed Cup final four

by: AP | February 11, 2018

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Germany took the deciding doubles rubber in three sets over Belarus. (AP)

MINSK, Belarus (AP) — Tatjana Maria won two points in her first Fed Cup tie in seven years and led Germany past 2017 finalist Belarus and into the semifinals on Sunday.

The Germans, who last appeared in the semifinals in 2015, will host the Czech Republic in April. They last met the Czechs in the 2014 final, losing it 3-1.

Germany met Belarus for the first time without its three leading singles players. But Maria earned her first singles win since 2007 when she won the first reverse singles against Vera Lapko 6-4, 5-7, 6-0. The 19-year-old Lapko made her Fed Cup debut in place of team No. 1 Aliaksandra Sasnovich, who lost her singles on Saturday.

Aryna Sabalenka then tied the match 2-2 by beating German newcomer Antonia Lottner 6-3, 5-7, 6-2. But straight after that two-hour match, Sabalenka returned for the deciding doubles without regular partner Sasnovich.

Sabalenka combined with Lidziya Marozava for the first time, and they faced Maria and Anna-Lena Groenefeld, who hadn't played Fed Cup doubles since 2011 but had a 3-2 record.

The Belarusians committed 69 unforced errors as the Germans edged them 6-7 (4), 7-5, 6-4.

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