Bacsinszky beats wasp sting as Fed Cup hots up

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Bacsinszky beats wasp sting as Fed Cup hots up

Switzerland s Timea Bacsinszky overcame being stung by a wasp to beat French rival Alize Cornet in the Fed Cup as three of the four World Group ties ended all-square on Saturday.

The Swiss were 1-1 against France in Geneva while defending champions, the Czech Republic, also split the opening rubbers with Spain in Ostrava as did top-flight debutants Belarus against the Netherlands in Minsk.

Bacsinszky downed Cornet 7-5, 6-4 but only after needing treatment when she was stung on her arm by a wasp at 3-3 in the first set of the clash at Geneva s Palexpo arena.

The Swiss number one immediately dunked her left elbow in a courtside bucket of water before leaving the court for further treatment on the sting.

When she returned, she broke Cornet s serve before going on to secure eventual victory on a fourth match point.

“Who would have thought that we would have wasps in Switzerland in February,” said Bacsinszky, the world No 16.

“It hurt a lot but maybe it will give me super powers on Sunday.”

She added: “The last time I got stung was a long time ago, and I ended up in hospital, so I had a little panic today.”

France, the runners-up to the Czechs last season, eventually levelled the quarterfinal when 23rd-ranked Kristina Mladenovic eased past her best friend Belinda Bencic 6-3, 6-4.

The reverse singles and doubles take place on Sunday with the eventual winners to face either Belarus or the Dutch for a place in the final.

The Czechs were tied 1-1 with Spain after number-one players Karolina Pliskova and Garbine Muguruza won their opening rubbers.

World No 7 Muguruza, the French Open champion, beat 17th-ranked Barbora Strycova 6-0, 3-6, 6-1 before third-ranked Pliskova levelled the tie after seeing off world number 70 Lara Arruabarrena 6-4, 7-5. The Czechs are seeking their fourth straight Fed Cup title after winning five of the last six editions of the team competition. Spain last won the trophy in 1998.

The home side are without 12th-ranked two-time Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova who is recovering from a hand injury she suffered when fighting a knife-wielding burglar last December.

The winners of the tie will face either 17-time champions United States or Germany who are playing in Hawaii.

The US are missing Serena and Venus Williams as well as the injured Madison Keys while Germany are without Angelique Kerber.

Kiki Bertens rallied from a set down to beat Aryna Sabalenka of Belarus, drawing the Dutch level at 1-1 in Minsk.

World No 24 Bertens won 3-6, 7-6 (8/6), 6-4 in her first ever meeting with the 18-year-old Belarusian.

Earlier, Aliaksandra Sasnovich, ranked 128th, put Belarus into the lead as she battled back from a set down to beat Michaella Krajicek 4-6, 6-3, 6-2.

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