Petkovic digs deep to seal Germany's Fed Cup win

Andrea Petkovic battled back from surviving two match points against her on Sunday as Germany enjoyed a 4-1 away win over Romania in the Fed Cup World Group play-off.

Angelique Kerber took 67 minutes to complete her victory.   -  AP (File Photo)

Andrea Petkovic battled back from surviving two match points against her on Sunday as Germany enjoyed a 4-1 away win over Romania in the Fed Cup World Group play-off.

The 28-year-old showed an iron will after being demolished in the first set, then held her nerve to win the second-set tie-breaker and claim a 0-6, 7-6(7/1), 6-3 win over Monica Niculescu. After Australian Open winner Angelique Kerber had put the Germans 2-1 up by beating Simona Halep in Sunday's opening singles rubber, Petkovic's victory gave the Germans an unassailable 3-1 lead.

"With these emotions and the support of this team, anything is possible," said an exhausted Petkovic, who needed just over two and a half hours to seal her win. It was Petkovic's second long match in the space of 24 hours.

Her team-mates Annika Beck and Julia Goerges then finished the job with a 6-7(5/7), 7-6(7/4), 10-7 win over Irina-Camelia Begu and Alexandra Dulgheru in the dead doubles rubber. It means Germany keep their place in the Fed Cup's top tier after beating the hosts in front of a sell-out crowd of 7,500 at the Sala Polivalenta Arena in Cluj-Napoca.

Kerber says she is back to her best after a dip in form following her Melbourne triumph in January.

"I have found my rhythm again and I am almost at 100 percent," she said, having needed just 67 minutes to blast her way past Halep 6-2, 6-2.

It had finished all square on Saturday as Halep needed just under three hours to secure her 6-4, 6-7 (5/7), 6-4 win over Petkovic after Kerber had beaten Begu.

Germany were in the play-off after their 3-2 defeat at home to Switzerland in February. Romania are now relegated to the World Group II for 2017 following their second defeat this year after losing 3-2 to the Czech Republic in February.

Results:

At Brisbane: Australia 0 USA 4

Coco Vandeweghe (USA) bt Samantha Stosur (AUS) 2-6, 7-5, 6-4; Bethanie Mattek-Sands/Coco Vandeweghe (USA) bt Daria Gavrilova/Arina Rodionova (AUS) 6-1, 6-4;

Madison Keys (USA) bt Daria Gavrilova (AUS) 6-4, 6-2; Christina McHale (USA) bt Samantha Stosur (AUS) 3-6, 6-1, 7-5.

At Bucharest: Romania 1 Germany 3

Angelique Kerber (GER) bt Simona Halep (ROM) 6-2, 6-2; Andrea Petkovic (GER) bt Monica Niculescu (ROM) 0-6, 7-6(7/1), 6-3;

Angelique Kerber (GER) bt Irina-Camelia Begu (ROM) 6-2 6-3; Simona Halep (ROM) bt Andrea Petkovic (GER) 6-4 6-7(5/7) 6-4.

At Moscow: Russia 1 Belarus 3

Aliaksandra Sasnovich (BLR) bt Margarita Gasparyan (RUS) 4-6, 6-1, 7-5 ; Victoria Azarenka (BLR) bt Darya Kasatkina (RUS) 6-2, 5-7, 6-3;

Victoria Azarenka (BLR) bt Margarita Gasparyan (RUS) 6-2, 6-3; Darya Kasatkina (RUS) bt Aliaksandra Sasnovich (BLR) 6-3, 3-6, 6-1.

At Lleida, Spain: Spain 4 Italy 0

Garbine Muguruza (ESP) bt Roberta Vinci (ITA) 6-2, 6-2; Annabel Medina/Sara Sorribes (ESP) bt Karin Knapp/Francesca Schiavone (ITA) 1-1 - retired;

Garbine Muguruza (ESP) bt Francesca Schiavone (ITA) 7-6 (7/4), 6-0; Carla Suarez (ESP) bt Roberta Vinci (ITA) 6-1, 6-1.