19 April 2014
Liechtenstein hits new heights after play-off win
By Tom Moran
Liechtenstein has been promoted to Fed Cup by BNP Paribas Europe/Africa Zone Group I for the first time next year, after storming to victory against Bosnia/Herzegovina in Siauliai.
Joining them in Group I in 2015 will be the Georgians, who edged past Finland to seal an immediate return to the higher level.
But there was bitter disappointment for Lithuania, who lost a tense tie with Egypt, while Montenegro’s miserable week ended, somewhat unsurprisingly, in relegation as South Africa recorded a comfortable win.
Liechtenstein's Kathinka von Deichmann and Stephanie Vogt, loyal Fed Cup footsoldiers who now have more than 50 Fed Cup appearances between them, will have the chance to pit their skills against many of the world’s top 100 in Group I in 2015. In many ways, they embody what the Fed Cup is about, making up for each other’s mistakes and putting in their most consistent performances when paired together in the doubles.
Today’s win is a second promotion in two years, and while Vogt and von Deichmann know that they face a much tougher challenge next year, they will undoubtedly be celebrating their nation's best-ever Fed Cup performance.
Von Deichmann was, as she has been all week, first on court on Saturday for Liechtenstein, and despite losing her two-day unbeaten record in yesterday’s opening singles rubber, the world No. 400 looked confident today as she came through in two tight sets against Dea Herdzelas.
The win gave Vogt the chance to seal the deal for Liechtenstein and, facing off against Jasmina Tinjic, she did not disappoint. It has not always been straightforward for Vogt, the highest-ranked player in Siauliai this week, but she found some high-quality tennis when it mattered most, winning 63 61 in five minutes short of an hour, and securing her nation’s progress.