Former US Open champion Sam Stosur could not stop Germany grabbing an unbeatable 3-0 lead in their Fed Cup semi-final in Brisbane on Sunday.
Stosur had to win to keep the tie alive but fell 4-6 6-0 6-4 to world No.7 Angelique Kerber in an opening reverse singles clash lasting more than two hours.
Two-time champions Germany will contest their first Fed Cup final since 1992 against either Czech Republic or Italy in November.
However, Australia’s long Fed Cup drought continues after Stosur suffered her first career loss to the left-handed Kerber (2-1 head to head record).
Australia won the last of their seven titles 40 years ago with Evonne Goolagong leading the way, and have not featured in a final since 1993.
World No.19 Stosur had hoped to get Australia on the board after the hosts lost both opening singles rubbers in straight sets on Saturday.
The former world No.4 was the heroine the last time the teams met, inspiring a 3-2 upset in Stuttgart in 2012.
Stosur looked on track when she claimed the first set thanks to a series of trademark forehand winners.
But Kerber’s response was swift and brutal – she blew the former world No.4 away in the second set in 23 minutes.
Stosur tried to fight back in the third, breaking Kerber when she served for the match up 5-2 but the German No.1 was not to be denied, icing the match with an ace.
Officials have announced the second reverse singles rubber between Casey Dellacqua and Andrea Petkovic will not be played.
The tie will now be completed by the doubles clash between Dellacqua and Ash Barty against Julia Goerges and Anna-Lena Groenefeld.