Australian Sam Stosur is to take on Germany’s Andrea Petkovic in the opening match of the Fed Cup semi-final in Brisbane today.
Stosur, the 2011 US Open champion, was drawn yesterday against Germany’s second-ranked player and world No. 28 Petkovic, for the tie on the hard courts of the Pat Rafter Arena.
Casey Dellacqua, ranked No. 53, is scheduled to play Germany’s top-ranked Angelique Kerber in today’s second match, while the reverse singles are to be played tomorrow, followed by doubles.
Ash Barty and Dellacqua, who reached three Grand Slam doubles finals last year, are to play in the doubles for Australia against Julia Goerges and Anna-Lena Groenefeld.
It has been 40 years since Australia last won the Fed Cup, led by Evonne Goolagong, while Germany have not won the competition since 1992, when Steffi Graf and Anke Huber starred in the team which defeated Spain.
Australia have not featured in a Fed Cup final for more than two decades, but Australian captain Alicia Molik believes history will be on her team’s side.
Germany have world No. 7 Angelique Kerber and former top-10 player Andrea Petkovic, but Australia won their last Fed Cup meeting in Stuttgart two years ago.
Molik said Stosur would help provide a psychological edge despite the former US Open champion slipping to world No. 19.
“I think we can win,” Molik told reporters.
“It will be very clear in the Germans’ minds that Sam had the edge [last time in Stuttgart]. As an opponent it is always difficult going into a match knowing that you lost the last encounter. I am hoping they [Germany] remember those matches very clearly,” she added.
Former world No. 4 Stosur has only made it past the third round at one tournament this year and has struggled in the past with public expectation on Australian courts.
“Obviously we would like to break that drought, but we are going to go out there and play as if we were in the final last year,” Stosur said.