Stosur helps Australia beat Germany

Samantha Stosur won her second singles match to give Australia a spot in the Fed Cup World Group by taking an unassailable 3-0 lead in their playoff with Germany on Sunday.

The fifth-ranked Stosur defeated Germany’s No. 1 Andrea Petkovic 6-4, 6-1 in 1 hour, 14 minutes.

Petkovic, who is ranked 11th, was playing her first competitive match since returning from a lower back injury and was unable to prevent the U.S. Open champion from dominating the second set.

”I’ve played well,” Stosur said. ”To put the team through to the World Group again is a really nice feeling.”

Stosur also beat Germany’s Angelique Kerber in straight sets on Saturday, before 50th-ranked Jarmila Gajdosova beat Julia Goerges – a player ranked 34 places above her – to leave the hosts facing relegation to World Group II.

Kerber salvaged some German pride later Sunday when she beat Olivia Rogowska 6-3, 6-3 in the fourth dead rubber on the Australian’s Fed Cup debut.

Germany’s Goerges and Anna-Lena Groenefeld were to play Gajdosova and Casey Dellacqua in the doubles match.

Germany was forced into the playoff after losing to the Czech Republic in the first round in February.

After more than three months out, Petkovic was only set to play in Sunday’s doubles match, but Germany coach Barbara Rittner brought in the 24-year-old against Australia’s No. 1 in the hope of becoming only the fifth country to recover from a 2-0 deficit since the best-of-five format was adopted in 1995.

”I was prepared not to play at all,” Petkovic said. ”But I knew as of yesterday evening and I prepared myself as well as possible, but unfortunately it wasn’t my day today.”

Stosur’s dominance sealed Australia’s return to the World Group after a one-year absence.

Australia now has eight wins from 12 meetings between the countries.