Rebecca Sramkova couldn't ask for a better debut in Fed Cup competition, which saw her scoring the decisive point for her team with a straight set win against Francesca Schiavone. With three wins and one loss over Italy, Slovakia will then advance to the playoffs, to try to return to the World Group for the first time since 2014.
On the trail of her good performance from Saturday, that saw her rallying back from one set down to defeat Sara Errani, Sramkova found the right confidence in her game and pulled out a stunning performance to defeat Schiavone, hitting 25 winners through all the match.
Sramkova sets off a good start, gains confidence to win the first set
Sramkova started the match putting an early pressure on her opponent, gaining one break point, but without converting it. After a quick hold, the 20-year-old gained another one, this time converting it to seal an early advantage.
Schiavone, who had scored an easy win the day before against Anna-Karolina Schmiedlova, needed to fight during all her service games to be able to hold, but has been unable to find herself some chances to level-off the score.
After another battled service game, in which she saved another break point, the Italian couldn't save a second one, losing her serve one more time against an opponent in total control of the match.
Sramkova didn't lose her momentum, and quickly served out the set with a 6-2 scoreline, after 35 minutes of play.
Schiavone fights back, but Sramkova didn't fall to the pressure and claims the match
The Slovakian returned on court after the break with great confidence, and kept the high level shown in the first set to break to love to start the second one. A hold to love quickly gave her a 2-0 lead, with a partial score of 8 points to 0.
Schiavone refused to be left behind, and quickly reacted with a hold to 15, battling on Sramkova's serve to take the first chance to break of the match, which she failed to convert. She went ahead to hold to love, but failed to convert a second break point, trailing the Slovakian from 2-4 down.
If the Italian failed to take her chances to level-off the score, Sramkova hasn't been that generous, as she converted another chance to break Schiavone again to 15, and gained the chance to serve for the match.
The pressure seemed to find the 20-year-old, and Schiavone didn't fail to take advantage of that, winning one break back and holding her serve right away, leaving only two points to her opponent who seemed to have lost the momentum on behalf of the Italian.
On her second try to serve out the match, however, Sramkova didn't miss her chances; with an ace, she converted her first match point to score the third and decisive point, winning the match with a final score of 6-2, 6-4.
After her win, Slovakia will be able to advance to the World Group I playoffs in April, while Italy will have to win its next tie to avoid to fall in the Zone Group for the first time since 1997.