Germany crush USA in Fed Cup

Germany white-washed the United States 5-0 on Sunday to relegate the 17-times winners from the Fed Cup's top tier for the first time in the tennis competition's 48-year history.

Germany crush USA in Fed Cup
Photo: DPA

After Germany enjoyed a 2-0 lead from Saturday, Andrea Petkovic continued the hosts domination with a straight-sets victory over Melanie Oudin early on Sunday which gave the Germans an unassailable 3-0 lead.

The 23-year-old Petkovic needed just one hour 18 minutes to beat 19-year-old Oudin 6-2, 6-3, while team-mate Sabine Lisicki blitzed her teenage opponent Christine McHale in 88 minutes for a 6-3, 6-4 victory.

And doubles pair Julia Goerges and Anna-Lena Groenefeld completed the rout when they bounced back from losing the first set to enjoy a 3-6, 6-3, 6-1 victory over Liezel Huber and Vania King.

“We have proved that we belong in the top tier and we led from the front,” said Australian Open quarter-finalist Petkovic after the Germans success.

The United States had reached the Fed Cup final for the last two years but came to Stuttgart with an inexperienced squad.

The Americans were missing their three leading players, including both the Williams sisters – Serena and Venus – as well as Bethanie Mattek-Sands, ranked 41st in the world.

Germany will now compete in the top tier of the Fed Cup in 2012 and team coach Barbara Rittner, who was part of the Germany team led by Steffi Graf which won the title in 1987 and 1992, was delighted.

“We have a lot of quality in the team and they all encourage each other,” said Rittner.

But Petkovic said her current career-high ranking of 19th in the world was both a blessing and a curse.

“This is a new situation for me. I’ve noticed already in Miami that the young players play their best tennis against me,” admitted the 23-year-old, who will contest the WTA tournament in Stuttgart starting Monday.

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Travel: Germany downgrades Covid-19 risk status of USA

The United States is no longer classed as a "high incidence area" by Germany - it has returned to being a "risk area".

Travel: Germany downgrades Covid-19 risk status of USA
People walking in New York in May 2020. Photo: DPA

The Robert Koch Institute (RKI) changed the risk classification of the United States on March 7th.

The US was previously classed as a “high incidence area” by the RKI. These are regions where the incidence is over 200 Covid-19 cases per 100,000 residents with a period of seven days.

However, now it’s a “risk area” – which is used by German authorities to describe a region with an increased risk of infection, usually above 50 coronavirus cases per 100,000 people in seven days.

Other factors are also taken into account, such as measures in place.

It means the travel requirements for people coming from the US to Germany have changed.

However, entry from the US is only permitted in a few narrow exceptions. Proof of urgent need to travel is required, German authorities say. You can find more information in the story below.

READ MORE: When are Americans allowed to travel to Germany?

What happens if I need to travel from the US to Germany?

If you are a German resident from the US, or fall into one of the exception categories, you still face strict testing and quarantine measures.

All travellers must have a negative Covid-19 test result at the latest 48 hours after they enter Germany. It must be presented to authorities if they request it.

Some individual airlines may however still say that travellers have to present a coronavirus negative test result before boarding is allowed. You should contact your airline before travel to check.

Both PCR tests as well as rapid anitgen tests are accepted if they meet the quality standards. Testing is still mandatory even if travellers are vaccinated or have recovered from a coronavirus infection. 

People returning from “risk zones” are required to self-isolate for 10 days after they arrive.

The quarantine can usually be ended with a negative coronavirus test result taken at the earliest five days after arriving in Germany.

However, states can differ on their travel regulations so check with your local authority before travelling.

Everyone entering Germany is also required to register online.

New “high incidence areas”

In the RKI’s latest travel classification list, Sweden, Hungary and Jordan are now classed as “high incidence areas” which means stricter testing and quarantine rules apply.

Areas of “variant concern” include Austria’s Tyrol region, the UK, Brazil, Portugal and Ireland. Even stricter rules apply for these regions.

You can find out more information about travel rules in our story below.

READ MORE: What you need to know about Germany’s latest rules on foreign travel