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The Globe and Mail

Canada splits opening day of Fed Cup World Group II playoff against Ukraine

Eugenie Bouchard, of Canada, returns to Jelena Jankovic, of Serbia, at the Family Circle Cup tennis tournament in Charleston, S.C., Friday, April 5, 2013.

Mic Smith/The Associated Press

Sharon Fichman defeated Ukraine's Lesia Tsurenko 7-6 (5), 2-6, 6-3 on Saturday to give Canada a 1-1 split after the first day of a Fed Cup World Group II playoff tie.

Eugenie Bouchard of Westmount, Que., dropped the first match, 6-7 (8), 6-3, 6-2 to Elina Svitolina on a indoor clay court at the Sport Club Meridian.

Fichman, a 22-year-old from Toronto, broke Tsurenko's serve five times in the third set and used her defensive abilities to frustrate her opponent.

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"It's a good feeling to get us on the scoreboard," said Fichman. "I couldn't worry about the first match, I just had to focus on doing my job. I'm happy that I played good tennis and that we are in a good position to win tomorrow."

Bouchard won the tough opening set in a long tie break, but rolled her ankle badly at the start of the second. The 19-year-old played on despite the pain.

She is scheduled to play the first reverse singles on Sunday against Tsurenko. Fichman will face Svitolina afterwards, followed by a doubles rubber between partners Gabriela Dabrowski and Fichman and Ukraine's Yuliya Beygelzimer and Kateryna Kozlova.

"I want to play tomorrow," said Bouchard. "I am going to rest tonight and do everything I can to be ready. I hardly ever retire. My movement wasn't as good after getting treated, but I wanted to keep fighting.

"I am representing my country and my team, it is a very important weekend for us."

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