Czech hosts edge Germany in late night Billie Jean King Cup contest despite Krejcikova crumble
The final tie of day one of the Billie Jean King Cup came down to the final doubles rubber in the early hours of the morning.
The Czech Republic are the fourth seeded team at the tournament in Prague. The 11-time champions are looking to add to their most recent triumph in 2018.
Olympic silver medallist Marketa Vondrousova first faced WTA veteran Andrea Petkovic.
After an exchange of breaks to open the match, Vondrousova accelerated away from the German by winning eight straight games to go 6-1, 3-0 up.
The Czech eventually sealed the rubber 6-1, 6-3 to claim the point for her nation. Next came a heavyweight match between world number three and Roland Garros champion Barbora Krejcikova three-time Slam champion Angelique Kerber.
Kerber has vastly more experience at the Billie Jean King Cup. She had previously played 25 rubbers with a 13-12 record across her career. Krejcikova meanwhile had played just two, both in doubles, accruing a 1-1 record.
Making her singles debut at the Billie Jean King Cup, Krejcikova toughed out the first set to clinch it 7-6 over Kerber.
But the German roared back to claim victory 6-7 (5-7), 6-0, 6-4 and level the tie. Krejcikova seemed to potentially be nursing an injury, something to watch considering her imminent WTA Finals debut.
The final rubber of the day saw Lucie Hradecka and Katerina Siniakova of the Czech Republic face Anna-Lena Friedsam and Jule Niemeier. It came down to a match tiebreak, the Czechs claiming it 10-8 to win the tie 2-1.
Three of the four ties on day one came down to a final doubles rubber. Canada upset defending champion France 2-1, while Belgium went 2-0 up on Belarus across singles before the Belarusians salvaged a doubles point.
Finally, Spain split the singles with Slovakia before getting over the line in the doubles for a 2-1 tie win.
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