LONDON (AP) — U.S. Open champion Emma Raducanu won on her Billie Jean King Cup debut to level Britain with the Czech Republic in Prague on Friday.
Raducanu's swift rise was evident before she beat Tereza Martincova 7-5, 7-5 in what was her first match for Britain and her first professional match on clay.
Her third win of the year came with added pressure after teammate Harriet Dart lost to former French Open finalist Marketa Vondrousova 6-1, 6-0 in the opening singles. Vondrousova and Raducanu will meet in the first reverse singles on Saturday.
The Czechs are favored to win the best-of-five qualifier for the finals in November. They have won the Cup six times since 2011 though they are without their three highest ranked singles players -- No. 2 Barbora Krejcikova, No. 7 Karolina Pliskova, No. 28 Petra Kvitova -- and No. 1-ranked doubles player Katerina Siniakova.
Elsewhere, Italy led France 2-0, Kazakhstan led Germany 2-0, Poland led Romania 2-0, Spain led the Netherlands 2-0, and the United States led Ukraine 2-0.