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Germany opens large lead on Latvia as Fed Cup weekend gets underway

Petkovic won a staggering 24 of 29 points on Ostapenko’s second serve, and while Ostapenko had 19 winners to Petkovic’s 13, the 29th-ranked Latvian was undone by a whopping 52 unforced errors, 18 more than Petkovic’s total.

Ostapenko, who peaked at World No.5 in 2018, had ample opportunity to open up a big lead over Petkovic, as the 21-year-old Latvian cracked powerful service returns to go up a break on three separate occasions during the opening frame.

Double faults hindered Ostapenko in the first two instances, but the Latvian staved off a break point to finally consolidate a break and hold for 5-3, putting her a game away from the one-set lead. However, when serving for the set at 5-4, another Ostapenko double fault handed Petkovic a break point, which the German converted after a forehand mistake by her opponent.

Back level at 5-5, Petkovic grabbed the lifeline provided, as she held for 6-5, then fired sturdy groundstrokes while Ostapenko blasted forehand errors to give Petkovic double set point. Ostapenko saved the first with a forehand winner, but a netted miscue from that side by the Latvian allowed Petkovic to eke out the opener.

In the second set, Petkovic dropped serve in the opening game with a double fault on break point, but the German slammed winners to break Ostapenko at love in the very next game. Petkovic exhibited extreme confidence with her ground game to pick off five games in a row, breaking Ostapenko at love again to lead 5-1, after a forehand return winner off a second serve.

Petkovic then twice faltered when serving for the match, losing serve at 5-1 and 5-3, as Ostapenko found the ferocity on her returns once more to pull back on serve at 5-4. But in the subsequent game, Ostapenko again could not find consistency on her delivery, and after a strong return by Petkovic to bring up match point, the Grand Slam champion double faulted to end the clash.

EltasZone Sportswriters, Sports Analysts, Opinion columnists, editorials and op-eds. Analysis from The Zone Team