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Belarus into 2016 Fed Cup World Group playoffs

Despite being without their key star Victoria Azarenka, the Belarusian national tennis team beat Canada 3:2 in a match of the first round of the Fed Cup World Group II.

On the first day of competition in Quebec on February 6 Belarusian Alexandra Sasnovich (99th in the world ranking) won against Canadian Françoise Abanda (343), 6:4, 2:6, 6:3.

However, Canada then restored parity after Aleksandra Wozniak (803) beat Belarusian Olga Govortsova (74) 6:2, 6:2.

On the second day Olga Govortsova met with Françoise Abanda and again lost, 4:6, 4:6, with Canada going in front 2:1 in the match.

Canadians needed only one win and Aleksandra Wozniak could well receive it had it not been for her rival Alexandra Sasnovich’s intent to level the score. In a tough match Sasnovich won against Wozniak, 6:4, 6:4, which meant that Belarus and Canada would have to play a doubles match to decide on the outcome of the whole five-match tie.

Belarus fielded Govortsova (instead of Vera Lapko as was initially planned) and Sasnovich while Canada decided not to make changes sending Carol Zhao and Gabriela Dabrowski for the battle.

The Belarusians looked better in the doubles from the outset and won 6:2, 6:4 and advanced to the World Group playoffs.

The best Belarusian tennis player Victoria Azarenka (14) planned to take part in the tournament but could not make it to Quebec. She was replaced by Nika Shitkovskaya. However, neither she nor But she, like, another 17-year-old resident of Minsk Vera Lapko played in the matches. Belarus’ captain Eduard Dubrov decided to rely on more experienced tennis players and that proved to be the right decision.

Now the Belarusian national team will compete for the entry into the elite group, the World Group. In April, Belarus take on one of the teams who lost in the first round of the World Group I. These may be Romania (lost to the Czech Republic 2:3), Germany (lost to Switzerland 2:3), Italy (lost to France 1:4) or Russia (lost to the Netherlands 1:3).

Australia, the USA and Spain will also continue their fight for World Group I in the WG playoffs.

Belarus into 2016 Fed Cup World Group playoffs