Czech Republic, Spain locked in Fed Cup battle


Defending champions the Czech Republic are locked in a Fed Cup battle as three of the four quarter-final ties were level at 1-1 after Saturday's play.

The Czechs have won the past three titles, but split their singles rubbers on the opening day against Spain in Ostrava.

Garbine Muguruza overcame Barbora Strycova 6-0 3-6 6-1 to put Spain ahead before Karolina Pliskova proved too good for Lara Arruabarrena 6-4 7-5.

It was a day of tight battles, with second seeds France level with Switzerland in Geneva.

Timea Bacsinszky put the hosts ahead with a 7-5 6-4 win over Alize Cornet, but Kristina Mladenovic levelled for France by beating Belinda Bencic 6-3 6-4.

In Minsk, Belarus and Netherlands are also level at 1-1.

Aliaksandra Sasnovich overcame Michaella Krajicek 4-6 6-3 6-2 before the Dutch squared the tie, Kiki Bertens battling past Aryna Sabalenka 3-6 7-6 (8-6) 6-4.

The United States are the only team with some control, although rain slowed them down against Germany in Hawaii.

After a German anthem mix-up, Alison Riske beat Andrea Petkovic 7-6 (12-10) 6-2.

Coco Vandeweghe was on the verge of putting USA 2-0 ahead, but she will have to return to finish on Sunday, leading Julia Goerges 6-3 3-1.