Victories from Ekaterina Makarova, Elina Svitolina and Francesca Schiavone headlined a dizzying opening day of Fed Cup action in World Group II. Here's how the ties stand after day one.
WTA Staff

Victories from Ekaterina Makarova, Elina Svitolina and Francesca Schiavone headlined a dizzying opening day of Fed Cup action in World Group II.

Here's how the ties stand after day one:

Ekaterina Makarova

Russia 1 - 1 Chinese Taipei

Ekaterina Makarova found herself leading a group of young talented Russians this weekend, with two of her teammates making their Fed Cup debut and the average team age just 20 years old.

"It's a totally different situation because every time I was playing I was one of the young players, even when I had a good ranking. But it was someone like Elena Vesnina in the team every time teaching me," Makarova told before the tie.

"Now there are two girls who are debutants and it's a good experience for me. We have a great atmosphere the girls are very nice. We're looking forward to this weekend."

The 28-year-old survived a scare to defeat Lee Ya-Hsuan 6-3, 5-7, 6-1 and put Russia ahead in front of a delighted Moscow crowd.

But Chang Kai-Chen put Chinese Taipei back on track, brushing away Fed Cup debutant Anna Blinkova, 6-3, 7-5.

Kirsten Flipkens

Romania 0 - 2 Belgium

Hosts Romania were stunned on day one as Yanina Wickmayer and Kirsten Flipkens' brace of victories put Belgium firmly in control of the tie.

Without Simona Halep and Irina-Camelia Begu, Romania struggled in singles as Flipkens dominated the opening rubber against Monica Niculescu, 6-3, 6-4.

"I knew I had to be patient and wait for the right moment to move forward," Flipkens told press after the victory.

"It would have been a lot more difficult against Simona Halep as she is a top five player. Against Monica, I was confident going forward as I created my chances and took them when they came."

Cirstea had a golden opportunity to rescue a point for her side, leading 5-2 in the opening set but Wickmayer came roaring back to edge through in a tight battle, 7-6(4), 5-7, 7-5.

Elina Svitolina

Ukraine 2 - 0 Australia

The hosts Ukraine are in full control over Australia after Elina Svitolina and Lesia Tsurenko notched wins on day one.

Tsurenko opened proceedings with a comfortable win against Daria Gavrilova, easing past the Australian 6-2, 6-3.

"I'm very pleased with my game today," Tsurenko explained to "After the first games, the captain asked me to play deep. Don't try to hit flat. That was the key. To play deep and wait for the right moment, and stay focused in the point whatever happened."

Svitolina had a harder time against Barty, whose game made a mockery of her No.156 ranking as the Australian quickly took the opening set. Svitolina hit back just as strong, and finally tamped down the resistance to win 4-6, 6-1, 6-2.

"I'm happy about today, although not about the score," Barty said afterwards. "Elina is a tough player, with a lot of experience. She raised her level. The score of the second and third set doesn't reflect how close the games where."

Francesca Schiavone

Italy 1 -1 Slovakia

Fed Cup veteran Francesca Schiavone and Slovakian debutante Rebecca Sramkova left their countries level in Italy to close out day one.

At home and on clay, Schiavone fought past Anna-Karolina Schmiedlova 6-3, 6-1 to give Italy an early lead.

"I have to speak with my body, it's not easy to handle three hours like before - but today I enjoyed my one hour and a half and I'm happy to bring the point to my national team. It's my last Fed Cup so there are some big emotions," said Schiavone, who will retire from professional tennis at the end of this season.

No.116 Sramkova took on Sara Errani, and came back from a set down to win 2-6, 6-3, 6-4.

"I was nervous in that first set but I just said to myself 'I'm going to win it'. I just changed my thinking," Sramkova told after the victory.

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