The first day of the FedCup play-offs for a place in the first of the new finals in April has come to an end.
Two matches have been played in all ties except for the tie between USA and Latvia which doesn’t begin until around 3:00am UK time on Saturday morning. Some teams have been left a mountain to climb, some have a lead to hold onto and some have it all to play for but what were the key stories from the first day?
Romania 1-1 Russia
Ana Bogdan has given the hosts and underdogs Romania a hope going into the second day.
Following Ruse’ 6-1 6-4 loss against Alexandrova first up the top seed of Romania was up against the tide in top 40 ranked Kudermetova. Ana who is ranked at 90 in the world came through in three sets to win 6-3 6-7 6-1 to level the tie.
Spain 2-0 Japan
Japan were seen as favourites.
Naomi Osaka opened the days play for the away team against Sara Sorribes Tormo on the clay and well things didn’t go to plan.
Naomi was bageled in the opening set and didn’t recover too well in the third as she fell 0-6 3-6 to the Spaniard hitting an incredible 50 unforced errors in 73 minutes.
A win later in the day for Carla Suarez Navarro has left Japan with a mountain to climb on Day 2.
Netherlands 1-1 Belarus
Business as usual for the two teams top players. Kiki Bertens came from a set down to give the home side a 1-0 lead and Aryna Sabalenka dropped five games in her win to level the tie going into the second day.
The top two will continue to be the focal point for both teams but there will be no Victoria Azarenka but we don’t know why…
Kiki Bertens will be play Aryna Sabalenka first up tomorrow in the battle of the top seeds.
Belgium 1-1 Kazakhstan
Top seeds, Elise Mertens and Yulia Putintseva will go head to head first up tomorrow as they look for a 2-1 lead.
Having both won their matches on Friday the two players will be hoping to give their country and important lead going into the final singles match of the tie.
Brazil 0-2 Germany
Even though Germany were without their top two players the away side as expected are on course for a trip to Hungary in April.
Laura Siegemund begun the afternoon in Brazil with a 6-3 6-3 win followed by another straight sets win this time for Tatjana Maria.
Laura will be up first on Saturday knowing a win will send Germany to the finals.
Switzerland 2-0 Canada
Not the scoreline the away side would have wanted. It has been a bit of a car crash trip to Canada. Eugenie Bouchard pulled out of her match a couple of hours before with a wrist injury and Bianca Andreescu is there but we don’t know if she will play. Bianca is down to play in the doubles but it probably won’t be needed unless there is a turnaround tomorrow.
Jil Tiechman and Belinda Bencic did their job on Day 1 to give the home country a lead!
Slovakia 2-0 Great Britain
Away side have been left a big uphill task.
Heather Watson lost to a lower ranked Anna Karolina Schmiedlova who is a former top 30 ranked player and more experienced on clay.
Harriet Dart did a very good job in her match against Kuzmova where she lost a close third set 5-7 despite saving five match points and coming from 5-2 down in the decider but the Slovakian number one had too much for the Brit!
Heather Watson is set to begin the second day in a pivotal match against Kuzmova in what is a must win encounter for the British number one player.