Prague (AP) – Slovakia won a sensational doubles match on Tuesday to upset the United States in Pool C of the Billie Jean King Cup.
Victoria Kuzmova and Tereza Mihailikova combined to beat Americans Coco Vandeweghe and Caroline Dolehide 6-2, 6-7 (5), 12-10. This gave Slovakia a 2–1 victory in their first meeting in this tournament.
“We are happy to do it,” Kuzmova said.
In Group D, Switzerland’s Belinda Bencic and Viktorija Golubic won their singles matches and won 3–0 to knock Germany out of the tournament in Prague.
In the early hours, Russia took Canada out of the cloud with a 3-0 win, while Australia began their way in Group B with a 2-1 win over Belgium.
Kuzmova and Mihailikova took a 6-2, 3-1 lead before the Americans rally to take the tiebreaker in the second set. The Slovaks eventually won in the SuperTiebreak, converting their second match point.
Kuzmova beat Shelby Rogers 6-4, 6-4 to give Slovakia a 1-0 lead. Also on Monday, Kuzmova won to secure her country’s only point in a 2-1 loss to Spain.
“I feel good here,” he said. “I love playing for Slovakia, it gives me a lot more energy than in other tournaments.”
Danielle Collins beat Anna Karolina Shmidlova 6-3, 6-2 to level the series 1-1.
The Americans will take on Spain on Wednesday in a match they are certain to win.
Golubic defeated Andrea Petkovic 6-4, 7-5 to get Switzerland’s first point.
“I am very happy and relieved to have won the first point for Switzerland,” said Golubic. “The second set was difficult, so I was very happy to pull it off.”
At the Tokyo Olympics, singles champion Bencic defeated Angelique Kerber 5-7, 6-2, 6-2 to register a win.
The Swiss will complete the group stage against the Czech Republic on Thursday.
Canada got into tune after beating defending champions France by surprise on the first day of the women’s team tournament. But Russia, with one of the top 50 players in the world, was much stronger.
Daria Kasatkina defeated Carol Zhao 6-3, 6-1, while Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova beat Rebecca Marino 6-4, 4-6, 6-2 to seal the victory.
“In the second set, the chance (of winning) was 50-50 and I am happy with the third set,” admitted Pavlyuchenkova.
Russia dominated doubles points when Veronika Kudermatova and Lyudmila Samsonova beat Gabriela Dabrowski and Marino 6-3, 6-1.
In Group B, Australia started with a 2–1 win over Belgium.
The 12 teams in the final are divided into four groups of three teams. On Friday only the group winners will advance to the semi-finals.
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