Germany and Serbia tied 1-1 in Fed Cup playoff


STUTTGART, Germany (AP) -Germany and Serbia were level 1-1 after the opening singles Saturday in their Fed Cup relegation playoff.

Angelique Kerber beat Bojana Jovanovski 7-5, 6-2 to give Germany its point after Ana Ivanovic had defeated Mona Barthle 7-6 (5), 2-6, 6-2.

The reverse singles and the doubles are Sunday. The winner of the tie advances to the World Group.

Kerber, ranked No. 6 in the world, struggled against Jovanovski in the opening set despite breaking serve for a 3-2 lead. Jovanovski pulled even at 5-5 but the German then won the next two games to seal the set.

Kerber used her second match point to seal her victory after cruising through the second set.

Barthel saved three set points on Ivanovic's serve in her debut for Germany before going down in the tiebreaker.

The German rallied in the second set and broke Ivanovic's serve twice to level the score.

But the former No. 1 regained control in the third to lead 5-2. Barthel served to stay in the match but Ivanovic gained a match point and converted it with a powerful forehand that Barthel sent back long.

Copyright 2017 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.

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