tennis

Kazakhstan, U.S. build 2-0 leads at Billie Jean King Cup

Susan Mullane-USA TODAY Sports

Reigning Wimbledon champion Elena Rybakina earned a 6-3, 6-4 win over Weronika Falkowska to help her native Kazakhstan take a 2-0 lead over Poland in Billie Jean King Cup qualifiers on Friday in Astana, Kazakhstan.

Rybakina’s victory followed teammate Yulia Putintseva knocking off Poland’s Magda Linette, the 19th-ranked player in the world, 7-5, 6-3.

Qualifiers are taking place Friday and Saturday at locations around the world. The winning nations will advance to the finals in November. Switzerland and Austria have already qualified for the finals as last year’s two finalists.

Each best-of-five series consists of two singles matches on the first day, then the reverse singles matches followed by a doubles match on the second day.

The United States cruised to a 2-0 lead over Austria in Delray Beach, Fla. Coco Gauff crushed Julia Grabher 6-1, 6-3, before Jessica Pegula handled Sinja Kraus 6-0, 7-5.

Canada and Belgium are level 1-1 in Vancouver. Fernandez cruised past Yanina Wickmayer 6-0, 6-3, but Belgium’s Ysaline Bonaventure rallied to beat Rebecca Marino 4-6, 6-4, 6-4.

France won key tiebreakers to take a 2-0 lead on Great Britain in Coventry, England. Caroline Garcia got past Katie Boulter 6-7 (2), 7-6 (4), 7-6 (2), and Alize Cornet beat Harriet Dart 7-6 (6), 7-6 (3). Italy took a 2-0 lead on Slovakia when Camila Giorgi handled Anna Karolina Schmiedlova 6-2, 6-3, and Martina Trevisan outlasted Viktoria Hruncakova 7-6 (9), 6-3.

The Czech Republic leads Ukraine 2-0, with matches being hosted in Turkey. Spain is up on Mexico 2-0 and Romania leads Slovenia by the same margin.

Germany and Brazil are knotted 1-1. Beatriz Haddad Maia got Brazil on the board first by beating Anna-Lena Friedsam 3-6, 6-4, 6-3, but Germany’s Tatjana Maria answered with a 6-3, 3-6, 7-5 win over Laura Pigossi.

–Field Level Media

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