STUTTGART, GERMANY: Defending champions Czech Republic held their No. 2 spot in the rankings after defeating Germany 4-1 in the Fed Cup by BNP Paribas World Group first round. They now host Italy in the semifinals.
Iveta Benesova got the visitors off to the perfect start by outlasting German No. 1 Sabine Lisicki in three sets, and then a pair of come-from-behind wins for world No. 2 Petra Kvitova over Julia Goerges and Lisicki pushed the Czechs into an unassailable 3-0 lead.