Australia and Switzerland tied at 1-1
Australia's Fed Cup tie against Switzerland is delicately poised after the unheralded Stefanie Voegele upset Jarmila Gajdosova in a marathon encounter in Fribourg.
Australia’s Fed Cup tie against Switzerland is delicately poised after the unheralded Stefanie Voegele upset Jarmila Gajdosova in a marathon encounter in Fribourg.
World No.124 Voegele’s 6-0 6-7(8) 8-6 win over world No.40 Gajdosova in two hours and 28 minutes locked the tie at 1-1 after Samantha Stosur earlier accounted for Timea Bacsinszky 6-2 7-5.
Feeding off the boisterous home crowd at the Forum Fribourg, Voegele played aggressively and finally overcame Gajdosova on her eighth match point on the temporary indoor clay court.
Fed Cup captain David Taylor said that Gajdosova had shown fighting spirit despite producing 77 unforced errors to her opponent’s 56.
“She struggled mentally throughout the match and struggled with the crowd,” Taylor said.
“She did not deal with that well today.
“But she kept on fighting and gave herself opportunities although she was not playing her best.”
After being belted off the court in the first set in just 27 minutes, Gajdosova fought back and levelled the match on her seventh set point.
“I fought as hard as I could out there but she was the better player on the day,” she said.
“It is 1-1, Sam won so it is not the end of the world. I am looking forward to playing tomorrow if I do, we will decide at dinner tonight who is playing tomorrow.”
Taylor would not rule out changes for Sunday’s reverse singles with either Jelena Dokic or Casey Dellacqua a chance of replacing Gajdosova.
“I am pretty confident that Sam is going to do the job again tomorrow and Jarka will come out again and be competitive,” Taylor said.
Stosur was earlier made to earn her 93-minute win over former top 40 player Bacsinszky, who is on the way back from a 10-month layoff following foot surgery.
“I will take any win, obviously,” she said.
“The first set I was cruising but then I went down 3-0 (in the second) and that is when you can start to feel the pressure.
“I played a couple of good games and started to play better but I was still in and out of what I was trying to do.
“But it is always a good feeling to win.”
The US Open champion is expected to take on Voegele in the opening rubber on Sunday with uncertainty surrounding the make-up of the other singles rubber.
Australia has named Dellacqua and Dokic for the potentially pivotal doubles match against Bacsinszky and Amra Sadikovic.
Australia must win the tie against Switzerland and defeat one of the World Group first-round losers in April to be elevated to the elite eight-nation competition next year.
Stay tuned to tennis.com.au throughout the weekend for live scores, videos, photos and news from the tie. Or follow us on Facebook and Twitter for updates. Day two of the Fed Cup tie between Australia and Switzerland will begin at 8 pm (AEST).