Bucharest (AFP) – Australian Open champion Angelique Kerber gave Germany a dream start in their Fed Cup World Group play-off tie in Romania by beating Irina-Camelia Begu 6-2, 6-3 on Saturday.
Kerber needed just under an hour and a half to convert her first match point to seal the win in Cluj-Napoca.
The German fired down the same number of winners (14) as Begu, but only half the unforced errors, 16 compared to the Romanian’s 34, in front of a 7,500 crowd.
Later, Simona Halep, ranked sixth in the world, will be looking to level the tie when she takes on Germany’s Andrea Petkovic.
Halep has won her last five matches against Petkovic ahead of Sunday’s three remaining rubbers at the Sala Polivalenta Arena.
Germany are in the play-off after their 3-2 defeat at home to Switzerland in February and are bidding to stay in the top flight, as are Romania after their 3-2 defeat to the Czech Republic.