Fed Cup

04/17/2021 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 04/17/2021 08:19

China edge in front after Netherlands replace injured Bertens

Day two of the Billie Jean King Cup by BNP Paribas Play-off between the Netherlands and China, P.R. started with unfortunate news for the home team. Dutch No. 1 Kiki Bertens, who showed no signs of injury during her emphatic win over Wang Xinyu on Friday, woke up with pain in her troublesome left achilles and was not able to play her singles match against Wang Xiyu.

The 20-year-old Chinese, victorious on Friday against Arantxa Rus as well, went on to defeat Bertens' replacement Lesley Pattinama-Kerkhove 6-3 5-7 6-4, handing the visitors an important 2-1 lead on the indoor clay court in the Maaspoort Sports & Events venue in 's-Hertogenbosch.

One break of serve in the first set proved sufficient for Wang Xiyu, who did require a medical time-out to get her left ankle taped at 4-1. With a forehand drive-volley winner on her second set point, the young lefty guided her team one step closer to the 2022 Billie Jean King Cup Qualifiers.

The second set initially provided more of the same, with world No. 179 Pattinama-Kerkhove trying hard to gain the upper hand, only to be stopped in her tracks by her opponent's powerful game.

Everything changed however, when the Chinese No. 1 stood in front of the finish line at 5-3, at which point she (surprisingly) lost five games in a row and momentum shifted across the net.

Pattinama-Kerkhove quickly took a 3-1 lead in the deciding set before Wang Xiyu recovered strongly to level the score at 3-3 and break serve again two games later. The World No. 134 did not misuse her second shot at serving out the exciting match and eventually sealed the set 6-4.

To keep the home team's hopes alive, Dutch No. 2 Rus has to overcome 19-year-old Wang Xinyu.