Belarus will look to return to the Fed Cup World Group after coming back to defeat Canada on Sunday in Quebec City, winning their World Group II tie 3-2, despite Canada seeming to be well on their way to victory after the opening singles rubber. Aliaksandra Sasnovich would be the hero, claiming two rubbers to give Belarus the win on day two.
Abanda Fights Back to Give Canada Lead
There was a lot on the line in the marquee match-up between the two number ones, as Francoise Abanda of Canada and Olga Govortsova of Belarus. With the tie even at 1-1, a shot at victory was on the line.
The first set was wild, with breaks coming often. It would be Govortsova seemingly in control, holding a break lead late in the opening set. However, down 3-4, Abanda kept fighting. She broke back to event the set at four games a piece. There was very little between the two women in the opening set, as they each hit eleven unforced errors, and Govortsova barely had the edge in winners 14 to 12. However, Abanda won every single point on Govortsova’s second serve. The teenage Canadian broke Govortsova for the third time in the set, coming all the way back to grab the opening set 6-4.
After imploding late in the first set. Govortsova came out firing in the second set. The pair traded early break, with the Belarusian converting both break points she had, and eventually raced ahead to a 4-2 lead. However, Abanda, ranked almost 300 spots lowed than her opponent, mounted yet another comeback. Down 2-4, she reeled off four straight games, breaking Govortsova twice. The Canadian almost doubled her opponent in winners, 19 to 10, and kept the pressure on Govortsova. She completed her second straight late comeback to seal the 6-4, 6-4 upset victory to give Canada a 2-1 lead.
Sasnovich Forces Decider
Just like the day before, one team seemed well on its way to victory after the opening rubber, only this time it was Canada who seemed well on their way to victory with Aleksandra Wozniak looking to close out the tie. But Aliaksandra Sasnovich had other plans. There was little between the two women in the opening set, as both were solid on serve. Break points were hard to come by, but it would be the Belarusian grabbing the break. Wozniak was unable to take advantage of 23 unforced errors from her opponent and could not convert her lone break point, and Sasnovich grabbed the opening set.
Wozniak’s momentum from day one was almost non-existent this time, and Sasnovich got out to the early lead. Much like Govortsova in the previous match, Sasnovich grabbed the break for a 4-2 lead. Like her counterpart, Wozniak rallied and reclaimed the break to close to 3-4. But Sasnovich kept the pressure up on her opponent and would break once again late and ensured that the doubles rubber would decide the tie with a 6-4, 6-4 victory.
Belarus Claims Victory in the Doubles
Sasnovich carried her momentum from her singles tie into the doubles, where she teamed up with Govortsova to take on the highest-ranked doubles player in the tie, Gabriela Dabrowski, and Carol Zhao of Canada. The Belarusians raced out of the gate, breaking the Canadians twice in the early stages to grab an insurmountable 4-0 lead. The Canadians would grab a pair of breaks late in the set, but were unable to hold serve at all in the opener, eventually dropping the set 6-2.
The Canadians finally held to start the second set, but were struggling on their return and did not manage to break serve in the set. The Belarusians would score the break midway through the set and did not look back, holding on for the remainder to send Belarus into the Fed Cup World Group Playoffs with a 6-2, 6-4 win to claim the tie 3-2.
Belarus will now look to book their place in the World Group I in the World Group playoffs in April, while Canada will look to remain in the World Group II in the April playoffs, hoping to avoid demotion to the Americas Group I.