Simona Halep and Karolina Pliskova traded blows as the opening day of the Fed Cup clash between Romania and Czech Republic finished 1-1.
First, Pliskova swept past Mihaela Buzarnescu 6-1, 6-4 before Halep leveled things up by winning her rubber against Katerina Siniakova 6-4, 6-0.
The scene is set, therefore, for world number three Halep and world number five Pliskova to possibly settle the tie face-to-face on Sunday.
“I’m excited but I can’t afford to get over-excited,” said Australian Open semi-finalist Pliskova, who trails Halep 6-2 in career meetings.
In Liege, meanwhile, two-time champions France dominated Belgium to claim a 2-0 overnight lead.
Caroline Garcia, playing her first Fed Cup match for two years following a bitter fall-out with teammates, got the ball rolling with a 7-6 (7-2), 4-6, 6-2 win over Alison Van Uytvanck.
Alize Cornet them double the French advantage with a fine 7-6 (8-6), 6-2 besting of Elise Mertens.
Belarus are also firmly in the running seat after Aliaksandra Sasnovich and Aryna Sabalenka both won in straight sets to give them a 2-0 lead over Germany.
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