Serbs, Belgians even after first day at Fed Cup

Serbia and Belgium are even after the first day of play at their Fed Cup quarterfinal.

Jelena Jankovic gave Serbia the first point on Saturday with a 7-5, 7-5 win over Kirsten Flipkens, but Yanina Wickmayer pulled the hosts even in the best- of-five tie with a 6-4, 6-4 triumph over Bojana Jovanovski.

The players had to fight through cold conditions, even though the matches were played indoors, as temperatures outside the Spiroudome were on the negative side of freezing. Overnight snow also affected the building's heating system.

Flipkens, ranked 176th, had plenty of chances to upend the former world No. 1 Jankovic in the opening match. However, she managed to convert just 2-of-11 break-point chances.

Wickmayer was looking at a potential third set in the day's second match, but rallied from a 1-4 deficit in the second by winning the final five games.

The winners from Saturday will square off in the first reverse singles match on Sunday, as Jankovic will face Wickmayer. Flipkens and Jovanovski are slated for the second singles match, while Jankovic is also scheduled for doubles duty with Aleksandra Krunic against the Belgian duo of Tamaryn Hendler and Alison Van Uytvanck.

Belgium owns one Fed Cup title, while Serbia is still in search of its first championship. The Belgians are 2-0 all-time versus the Serbs.

The winner will face the Russia-Spain victor in the semifinals in April.