Samantha Stosur has kept Australia’s hope of returning to the Fed Cup World Group alive with a straight-sets win over Slovakia’s Jana Cepelova in Bratislava.
The hosts were leading the World Group Two tie on Saturday after Arina Rodionova was downed 5-7, 7-5, 6-0 by Anna Karolina Schmiedlova in an epic battle that lasted more than three hours.
But world number 27 Stosur took up the fight in the second match as she faced Cepelova, taking down the 22-year-old 6-3, 6-4.
Stosur has expressed a particularly strong desire to drive Australia to victory after injury forced her to sit out last year’s 4-1 defeat to the Netherlands, a result that relegated Australia to World Group Two.
In Monday’s (AEDT) action, Stosur will face world number 29 Schmiedlova, while Rodionova takes on Cepelova.
Stosur then teams up with Casey Dellacqua in the doubles match against Cepelova and Daniela Hantuchova.
This weekend’s tie is the second meeting between the two countries. Australia won their 1995 encounter in the World Group Two first round 3-2.