(Reuters) - The Czech Republic stayed in the running for a fourth consecutive Fed Cup title when they finished the opening-day singles locked at 1-1 in their semi-final against the United States on Saturday.
Despite missing several top players, the Czechs showed their depth when world number 38 Katerina Siniakova beat American Shelby Rogers 6-3 6-3 in the second match.
CoCo Vandeweghe got the U.S. off to a winning start on the outdoor green clay in Florida with a 6-1 6-4 result over Marketa Vondrousova, but Siniakova’s victory very much keeps alive Czech hopes of a sixth title in seven years.
In Minsk, Belarus and Switzerland were also locked at 1-1.
Aliaksandra Sasnovich of Belarus beat Viktorija Golubic 6-3 5-7 7-5 but world number 22 Timea Bacsinszky of Switzerland levelled the tie with a 6-4 7-5 win over Aryna Sabalenka.
Siniakova was delighted with her performance against Rogers, after converting all five break points that came her way.
“I was just trying to fight every point because I‘m a good fighter on the clay so I can play long rallies,” she said in a courtside interview with Martina Navratilova, the former champion from her homeland.
Both semi-finals will wrap up on Sunday with the reverse singles and a doubles match.
Reporting by Andrew Both in Cary, North Carolina; Editing by Clare Fallon