The Asian Age - - Sport -

Paris, Feb. 10: For­mer world num­ber ones Karolina Pliskova and Si­mona Halep won their open­ing rub­bers as the Fed Cup clash be­tween de­fend­ing cham­pi­ons Czech Repub­lic and Ro­ma­nia ended 1- 1 on Satur­day’s open­ing day.

Pliskova, her coun­try’s top player in the ab­sence of world num­ber two Pe­tra Kvi­tova, swept past Mi­haela Buzarnescu 6- 1, 6- 4 be­fore Halep dis­posed of Ka­te­rina Sini­akova 6- 4, 6- 0 to bring Ro­ma­nia level.

The wins set up a mouth­wa­ter­ing clash be­tween Pliskova, ranked five in the world, and num­ber three Halep on the in­door hard courts of Os­trava on Sun­day.

“I’m ex­cited but I can’t af­ford to get over- ex­cited,” said Aus­tralian Open semi- fi­nal­ist Pliskova, who is hop­ing to in­spire the Czechs to an 11th suc­ces­sive ap­pear­ance in the last four of the Fed Cup.

Her cau­tion is un­der­stand­able as she trails Halep 6- 2 in ca­reer meet­ings.

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