Fed Cup 1st-round primer (final results)

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Unlike the Davis Cup, the Fed Cup’s top 16 nations are divided into two “World Groups”, which cuts the maximum number of matches per season down to three.

With the new rules for 2018, the Americans, who won last November, were guaranteed to hold their first-round tie at home. No doubt that annoyed the Dutch, who found their turn to host the Americans turned around into an away tie, in Asheville, N.C.

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That home tie no doubt also contributed significantly to the presence of Serena and Venus Williams this weekend.

Venus did not enter either of the events in the Middle East the next two weeks, Doha and Dubai. So a tie in the Netherlands would have been a one-off trip. And when Serena decided to make her official return to the court, a trip to Europe added to that mix might well have been a deal-breaker.

Serena, it should be noted, is not in the lineup for singles.

There are also week-long zonal events in Talinn, Estonia (Europe Africa Group I), Asuncion, Paraguay (Americas Group I) and New Delhi, Indian (Asia/Oceania Group I) going on this week.

Asia/Oceania Group II is taking place in Isa Town, Bahrain.

World Group I

[1] Belarus 2, Germany 3*** (final)

Venue: Chizhovka Arena, Minsk, Belarus
Surface: Hard – Rebound Ace Synpave, Indoor
Court Pace Rating: Medium Fast
Ball: Slazenger Wimbledon

Nominations: Aliaksandra Sasnovich, Aryna Sabalenka, Vera Lapko, Lidziya Marozava (BLR). Tatjana Maria, Antonia Lottner, Anna-Lena Friedsam, Anna-Lena Groenefeld (GER)

Missing: Victoria Azarenka (BLR) Angelique Kerber, Julia Goerges, Carina Witthoeft, Andrea Petkovic, Mona Barthel, Sabine Lisicki (GER)

Saturday results

#2 Aryna Sabalenka (BLR) def #1 Tatjana Maria (GER) 46 61 62
#2 Antonia Lottner (GER) def #1 Aliaksandra Sasnovich (BLR) 75 64

Sunday results:

#1 Tatjana Maria (GER) def Aliaksandra Sasnovich Vera Lapko (BLR) 64 57 60
#2 Aryna Sabalenka (BLR) def. #2 Antonia Lottner (GER) 63 57 62
Anna-Lena Friedsam Tatjana Maria  / Anna-Lena Groenefeld (GER) def Vera Lapko Aryna Sabalenka / Lidziya Marozava (BLR) 67 (5) 75 64

[2] USA 3, Netherlands 1*** (final)

Venue: US Cellular Arena, Asheville, USA
Surface: Hard – Latex-ite Recreational Coating, Indoor
Court Pace Rating: Medium 
Ball: Wilson US Open Regular Duty

Nominations: Serena Williams, Venus Williams, Coco Vandeweghe, Lauren Davis (USA). Richel Hogenkamp, Arantxa Rus, Lesley Kerkhove, Demi Schuurs (NED)

Missing: Sloane Stephens, Madison Keys, Catherine Bellis, Bethanie Mattek-Sands (USA). Kiki Bertens (NED)

Saturday results:

#1 Venus Williams (USA) def #2 Arantxa Rus (NED) 61 64
#2 Coco Vandeweghe (USA) def. #1 Richel Hogenkamp (NED) 46 76 (6) 63

Sunday results

#1 Venus Williams (USA) def. #1 Richel Hogenkamp (NED) 75 61
#2 Coco Vandeweghe (USA) vs. #2 Arantxa Rus (NED) – NOT PLAYED
Lesley Kerkhove / Demi Schuurs (NED) def Lauren Davis Venus Williams / Serena Williams (USA) 62 63 

[3] Czech Republic 3, Switzerland 1*** (final)

Venue:  O2 Arena, Prague, Czech Republic
Surface: Hard – Novacrylic Ultracushion System (Indoor)
Ball: Wilson Tour All Court

Nominations: Petra Kvitova, Karolina Pliskova, Barbora Strycova, Lucie Safarova (CZE). Timea Bacsinszky, Belinda Bencic, Viktorija Golubic, Jil Teichmann (SUI)

Saturday results:

#1 Petra Kvitova (CZE) def #2 Viktorija Golubic (SUI) 62 16 63
#2 Barbora Strycova (CZE) def #1 Belinda Bencic (SUI) 62 64

Sunday results:

#1 Petra Kvitova (CZE) def. #1 Belinda Bencic (SUI) 62 64
#2 Barbora Strycova (CZE) def. #2 Viktorija Golubic (SUI) – NOT PLAYED
Timea Bacsinszky / Jil Teichmann (SUI) def Karolina Pliskova Barbora Strycova / Lucie Safarova (CZE) 16 64 [10-8]

[4] France 3, Belgium 2*** (final)

Venue:  Vendéspace, Mouilleron le Captif, France
Surface: Hard, Indoor
Court Pace Rating: Medium 
Ball: Babolat French Open Roland-Garros

Nominations: Kristina Mladenovic, Pauline Parmentier, Amandine Hesse, Clara Burel (FRA). Elise Mertens, Kirsten Flipkens, Alison Van Uytvanck, Ysaline Bonaventure (BEL)

Missing: Caroline Garcia, Alizé Cornet (FRA). Yanina Wickmayer (BEL)

Saturday results:

#1 Elise Mertens (BEL) def #2 Pauline Parmentier (FRA) 62 61
#1 Kristina Mladenovic (FRA) def. #2 Kirsten Flipkens (BEL) 62 64

Sunday results:

#1 Kristina Mladenovic (FRA) def. #1 Elise Mertens (BEL) 64 64
#2 Kirsten Flipkens Alison Van Uytvanck (BEL) def #2 Pauline Parmentier (FRA) 61 63
Pauline Parmentier Kristina Mladenovic / Amandine Hesse (FRA) def Alison Van Uytvanck / Ysaline Bonaventure Elise Mertens / Kirsten Flipkens (BEL) 64 26 62

************************************

World Group II

[1] Russia 1, Slovakia 4*** (final)

Venue:  AEGON Arena, Bratislava, Slovakia
Surface:  Hard – DecoColor, Indoor
Court Pace Rating:  Fast
Ball: Dunlop Fort All Court

Nominations: Natalia Vikhlyantseva, Anna Kalinskaya, Anastasia Potapova, Veronika Kudermetova (RUS). Magdalena Rybarikova, Jana Cepelova, Viktoria Kuzmova, Anna Karolina Schmiedlova (SVK).

Missing: Svetlana Kuznetsova, Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, Elena Vesnina, Daria Kasatkina, Ekaterina Makarova, Maria Sharapova, Ekaterina Alexandrova, Evgeniya Rodina (RUS). Dominika Cibulkova (SVK).

Saturday results:

#1 Natalia Vikhlyantseva (RUS) def #2 Viktoria Kuzmova (SVK) 64 62
#1 Magdalena Rybarikova (SVK) def #2 Anna Kalinskaya (RUS) 57 63 64

Sunday results

Magdalena Rybarikova Jana Cepelova (SVK) def #1 Natalia Vikhlyantseva (RUS) 64 64
#2 Viktoria Kuzmova (SVK) def #2 Anna Kalinskaya Anastasia Potapova (RUS) 26 63 64
Jana Cepelova / Anna Karolina Schmiedlova (SVK) def Anastasia Potapova Anna Kalinskaya / Veronika Kudermetova (RUS) 63 62

[2] Italy 3, Spain 2*** (final)

Venue:  Pala Tricalle “Sandro Leombroni”, Chieti, Italy
Surface:  Clay, Indoor
Ball: Dunlop Fort Clay Court

Nominations:  Sara Errani, Jasmine Paolini, Deborah Chiesa, Elisabetta Cocciaretto (ITA). Carla Suárez Navarro, Lara Arruabarrena, Maria José Martínez Sánchez, Georgina Garcia-Perez (ESP).

Missing: Camila Giorgi, Francesca Schiavone, Roberta Vinci (ITA). Garbiñe Muguruza, Sara Sorribes Tormo (ESP). 

Saturday results:

#1 Carla Suárez Navarro (ESP) def #2 Jasmine Paolini (ITA) 62 63
#1 Sara Errani (ITA) def #2 Lara Arruabarrena (ESP) 61 61

Sunday results

#1 Sara Errani (ITA) def. #1 Carla Suárez Navarro (ESP) 63 36 63
#2 Jasmine Paolini Deborah Chiesa (ITA) def #2 Lara Arruabarrena (ESP) 64 26 76 (7)
Maria José Martínez Sánchez / Georgina Garcia-Perez (ESP) def Deborah Chiesa Jasmine Paolini / Elisabetta Cocciaretto (ITA) 64 63

[3] Ukraine 2, Australia 3*** (final)

Venue:  Canberra Tennis Centre, Canberra, Australia
Surface:  Grass Outdoor

Nominations: Marta Kostyuk, Lyudmyla Kichenok, Nadiia Kichenok, Dasha Lopatetskaya (UKR). Ashleigh Barty, Daria Gavrilova, Destanee Aiava, Casey Dellacqua (AUS)

Missing: Elina Svitolina, Lesia Tsurenko, Kateryna Kozlova, Kateryna Bondarenko, Olga Savchuk (UKR). Samantha Stosur, Ajla Tomljanovic, Arina Rodionova (AUS).

Saturday results:

#1 Ashleigh Barty (AUS) def #2 Lyudmyla Kichenok (UKR) 46 61 64
#1 Marta Kostyuk (UKR) def. #2 Daria Gavrilova (AUS) 76 (3) 63

Sunday results

#1 Ashleigh Barty (AUS) def #1 Marta Kostyuk (UKR) 62 63
#2 Lyudmyla Kichenok (UKR) def #2 Daria Gavrilova (AUS) 46 62 63
Ashleigh Barty / Casey Dellacqua (AUS) def Nadiia Kichenok / Lyudmyla Kichenok Dasha Lopatetskaya (UKR) 63 64 

[4] Romania 3, Canada 1*** (final)

Venue:  Sala Polivalenta Cluj-Napoca, Cluj-Napoca, Romania
Surface:  Hard – Proflex Hardcourt, Indoor
Ball: Wilson Australian Open

Nominations: Irina-Camelia Begu, Sorana Cirstea, Ana Bogdan, Raluca Olaru (ROU). Carol Zhao, Bianca Andreescu, Katherine Sebov, Gabriela Dabrowski (CAN).

Missing: Simona Halep (ROU). Genie Bouchard, Françoise Abanda (CAN)

Saturday results

#2 Sorana Cirstea (ROU) def. #1 Carol Zhao (CAN) 62 62
#1 Irina-Camelia Begu (ROU) def. #2 Bianca Andreescu (CAN) 63 67 (4) 62

Sunday results

#1 Irina-Camelia Begu (ROU) def Katherine Sebov #1 Carol Zhao (CAN) 62 64
#2 Sorana Cirstea (ROU) vs #2 Bianca Andreescu (CAN) – NOT PLAYED
Gabriela Dabrowski / Carol Zhao Katherine Sebov (CAN) def Ana Bogdan / Raluca Olaru (ROU) 46 61 [10-6]

(All photos from various Twitter accounts)

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