CHARLEROI, Belgium – Jelena Jankovic of Serbia and Yanina Wickmayer of Belgium won in straight sets Saturday, leaving this opening-round Fed Cup series tied after the first day.
Jankovic, once ranked No. 1, beat Kirsten Flipkens 7-5, 7-5. Wickmayer then downed Bojana Jovanovski 6-4, 6-4.
Kim Clijsters decided to sit out the opening round for Belgium in her farewell season. Serbia is without former No. 1 Ana Ivanovic.
Jankovic showed her experience late in the opening set, forcing a first break of serve against the 176th-ranked Flipkens. She went up 4-2 in the second but let Flipkens back in the match. Jankovic saved two set points before winning.
That put the pressure on Wickmayer in the best-of-five series. Wickmayer became Belgium's highest-ranked player after Clijsters lost in the semifinals at the Australian Open title last week. Wickmayer is ranked No. 29 and had enough experience to edge Jovanovski, 76 places below her.
Wickmayer rallied from a 4-2 deficit in the second set but won the final four games.