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By Alberto Amalfi | Saturday, April 22, 2017

 
Timea Bacsinszky

Timea Bacsinszky scored a 6-4, 7-5 win over Aryna Sabalenk to level Switzerland with Belarus, 1-1, in the Fed Cup semifinals in Minsk.

Photo credit: Fed Cup Facebook

Swiss No. 1 Timea Bacsinszky played clean tennis under pressure to level the Fed Cup semifinals in Minsk.

Bacsinszky beat back Belarusian Aryna Sabalenk, 6-4, 7-5, in today’s second singles match to deadlock the tie.

Watch: Captain Nastase Banned From Fed Cup Tie

Earlier, Aliaksandra Sasnovich staked Belarus to a 1-0 lead with a 6-3, 5-7, 7-5 comeback conquest of Viktorija Golubic in a gripping two hour, 48 encounter filled with several lead changes.



The 96th-ranked Minsk native thrilled home fans—and former world No. 1 Victoria Azarenka, who was on hand supporting the team—fighting back from a break down in the decisive set.

Sasnovich smacked 15 of her 36 winners in the final set. It was the 23-year-old Belarusian’s second win over Golubic in a week. She swept the 54th-ranked Swiss, 6-1, 6-4, en route to the Biel semifinals last week.

Playing her first singles match since retiring from the Indian Wells round of 16 against Karolina Pliskova, Bacsinszky worked the angles and compelled Sabalenk into patches of errors.



The 18-year-old Belarusian hit 21 winners, but betrayed her cause with 50 unforced errors—more than double Bacsinszky’s total of 21. Bacsinszky converted five of eight break points in the match.

New mom Azarenka, who announced her plan to return to tennis this summer, has said she will play for her nation in the final if Belarus beats Switzerland to advance to the November 11-12th Fed Cup final. The winner of the Belarus-Switzerland semifinal will play either defending champion Czech Republic or the United States for the Fed Cup. 

 

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