Tennis

Serbia and Belgium tied 1-1 in Fed Cup

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CHARLEROI, Belgium (AP)

Former world No. 1 Jelena Jankovic of Serbia and Belgium's highest-ranked player Yanina Wickmayer earned straight-sets victories on Saturday to send their Fed Cup first-round tie level into the concluding day.

Both players had to overcome second-set dips but Jankovic first beat Kirsten Flipkens 7-5, 7-5 to give Serbia a 1-0 lead before Wickmayer hit back with a 6-4, 6-4 victory over Bojana Jovanovski.

Jankovic showed her experience late in the opening set to force a first break of serve against the 176th-ranked Flipkens, and kept the momentum going through the early part of the second to lead 4-2.

However, she let Flipkens back in the match and even had to save two set points before pushing through for the straight-sets win and Serbia's first point.

It put the pressure on Wickmayer to lead Belgium back into the match.

Wickmayer became the country's top-ranked player after Kim Clijsters failed to defend her Australian Open title last week, and at 29 in the WTA rankings, she proved she had enough experience to edge Jovanovski, 76 places below her.

Wickmayer had to fight back when she trailed 4-2 in the second set but she wrapped up the match, winning the final four games.

Clijsters decided to sit out the opening round in her farewell season, while Serbia is without former No. 1 Ana Ivanovic.

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