On Tuesday she looked like a champion, but this Wednesday the Russian Federation suffered to certify a pass to the semifinals of the Billie Jean King Cup against France he had in his pocket after their 3-0 win over Canada. The day had started well for Russia, after Ekaterina Alexandrova, who played in place of Daria Kasatkina, win the first set with some ease in her match against Clara Burel, who debuted replacing Fiona Ferro. But the 20-year-old tennis player and 77th in the world reacted when least expected and won by 3-6, 6-4 and 6-3 in 1h56.
To make matters worse, Alize Cornet later took the first set, also against the odds, against Anstastasia Pavlyuchenkova, 12th in the ranking. A 3-0 was the only result that eliminated the Russians, and a possibility planned for a few hours at the O2 Arena in Prague. Luckily for them, Pavlyuchenkova complied. He scored the second set and in the third he also did his homework well (5-7, 6-4 and 6-2 in 2h23).
The doubles will be played to settle the victory in the series and the final classification. But the fact is that the current champion, the last one with the old Federation Cup format, is eliminated. France looked good, but ran into the power of a team that has five top-40 players. Russia wasn’t that close to the title since reaching the final in 2015 and losing it against the Czech Republic, which this Thursday will face Switzerland in search of a place in the semifinals.
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