Canada clinch Billie Jean King Cup tie over defending champions France
The groups stage of the Billie Jean King Cup Finals is underway, with the Canadians edging the top seeds in their first match-up.
12 teams are competing at the newly formatted tournament held in Prague, Czechia.
France, Australia, USA and Czechia are seeds one to four in Groups A to D respectively. France are the top seeds and defending champions from the last event in 2019.
However, their Billie Jean King Cup defence has not started smoothly, losing 2-1 to Canada in their first set of matches.
First, world number 105 Fiona Ferro took on world number 353 Francoise Abanda, taking a set lead 6-4. However, Abanda came back strong to win 4-6, 6-4, 6-4 and land a point for her nation.
Alize Cornet then levelled the tie by defeating Rebecca Marino in straight sets. But Marino and Gabriela Dabrowski then teamed up to oust Cornet and Clara Burel in the doubles to seal the tie for Canada.
In Group B, Belarus took on Belgium as seeds Australia wait to get their campaign up and running. Greetje Minnen eased past Iryna Shymanovich 6-2, 6-2 before Elise Mertens ensured at least two points for Belgium by defeating Aliaksandra Sasnovich.
Belarus did salvage a point by winning the doubles rubber, Sasnovich and Vera Lepko overcoming Mertens and Kirsten Flipkens.
In Groups C, Spain first take on Slovakia, while in Group D hosts Czechia face Germany.
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