The Canadian Press - ONLINE EDITION

Kerber wins reverse singles to send Germany to Fed Cup semifinals against Australia

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BRATISLAVA, Slovakia - Germany reached the semifinals of the Fed Cup on Sunday after Angelique Kerber won the first reverse singles to clinch the first-round series against Slovakia.

Ninth-ranked Kerber defeated Australian Open finalist Dominika Cibulkova 6-3, 7-6 (5) on the indoor hard court at Bratislava's National Tennis Center for the first German victory in the Fed Cup World Group since 2002.

Germany will face Australia in April in its first semifinal since 1995.

In the doubles, Slovakia's Jana Cepelova teamed up with Magdalena Rybarikova to beat Julia Goerges and Anna-Lena Groenefeld 4-6, 6-3, 10-7 and reduce the German overall victory to 3-1.

Kerber converted her first match point in a tiebreaker when Cibulkova's forehand went wide.

Kerber broke Cibulkova three times in the opening set which she clinched with a forehand winner.

Germany took a commanding 2-0 lead in the best-of-five series on Saturday after Kerber overcame Daniela Hantuchova 7-6 (9), 6-1 and Andrea Petkovic upset Cibulkova 2-6, 7-6 (7), 6-2.

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