France surprised by Canada at Billie Jean King Cup


PRAGUE:

Champions France stumbled on the first hurdle as they misplaced to Canada of their opening tie of the maiden Billie Jean King Cup remaining match in Prague on Monday.

The 2019 Fed Cup champions and the highest seeds of its rebranded model must beat a robust Russian workforce on Wednesday to maintain their hopes of constructing the play-offs alive.

Belgium, Spain and the Czech Republic began the match with wins, securing a bonus forward of the second and remaining ties within the three-member teams.

France’s Fiona Ferro misplaced the opening rubber to world quantity 353 Francoise Abanda 6-4, 4-6, 4-6.

Alize Cornet levelled the rating by edging Rebecca Marino 6-4, 7-6 (7/5) however then misplaced the decisive doubles rubber alongside Clara Burel 3-6, 6-7 (6/8) by the hands of Gabriela Dabrowski and Marino.

Canada have been a late addition to the match, changing Hungary after Budapest handed on the internet hosting rights to Prague.

“To beat the number one is obviously incredible and I think we should be really proud of ourselves,” Marino beamed after the doubles rubber.

“As a team we came together and fought with a lot of heart,” she added.

In the opposite afternoon tie, Belgium gained each singles to beat Belarus 2-1 in Group B.

Belgium’s Greet Minnen first eased previous Irina Shymanovich 6-2, 6-2 within the opening rubber.

Elise Mertens added a second level when she overpowered Aliaksandra Sasnovich 6-2, 4-6, 6-2.

Sasnovich and Vera Lapko then gained a comfort level for Belarus as they beat Mertens and Kirsten Flipkens 6-4, 6-3.

“We started really strong, Greet was doing very well and that made it easier for me,” mentioned Mertens.

“Today we’re happy that we won both singles so we eventually took the win.”

Hosts the Czech Republic, who gained six of the final 9 Fed Cup editions, edged Germany after Marketa Vondrousova first swept Andrea Petkovic 6-1, 6-3.

In a roller-coaster rubber pitting the very best rating gamers of the match, world quantity 9 Angelique Kerber edged third-ranked Barbora Krejcikova 6-7 (5/7), 6-0, 6-4.

“We both played a great match on a really high level. It was just one, two points which decided the match,” Kerber mentioned after the 136-minute epic.

“Of course it’s always an honour to play for Germany so I always try to give my best,” she added.

“I gave it a hundred percent and I think there’s nothing I should be ashamed of,” mentioned Krejcikova, this yr’s French Open champion.

Thirty-six-year-old Lucie Hradecka then changed Krejcikova subsequent to her traditional doubles accomplice Katerina Siniakova, and the Czech duo gained the decisive doubles rubber in opposition to Anna-Lena Friedsam and Jule Niemeier 6-4, 6-7 (2/7), 10/8.

Lacking Garbine Muguruza and Paula Badosa, Spain had a tough time dealing with Slovakia, however they lastly prevailed 2-1 owing to Sara Sorribes Tormo.

In the primary rubber, Slovakia’s Viktoria Kuzmova beat Carla Suarez Navarro, who’s winding up her profession in Prague, 6-2, 3-6, 6-3.

Sorribes Tormo levelled after edging Anna Karolina Schmiedlova 6-3, 3-6, 6-2, and along with Suarez Navarro they outdid Kuzmova with Tereza Mihalikova 4-6, 6-2, 10/7 within the doubles.

“I think what we’ve done today is an amazing day, an amazing feeling. I’m super proud of what we did,” mentioned Sorribes Tormo.

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