Canada took a 2-0 lead over the Netherlands in the best-of-five Fed Cup tie with a pair of singles victories on Saturday.
Teenager Bianca Andreescu defeated Richel Hogenkamp 6-4, 6-1 in the first rubber to give Canada a 1-0 lead and Montreal’s Francoise Abanda followed with a 7-6 (8), 4-6, 6-4 victory over Arantxa Rus.
Andreescu, ranked No. 70 in the world, fired five aces and won 4-of-7 break points to beat her 150th-ranked opponent in one hour six minutes.
“I was very nervous right before the match, so I’m glad I could shake off the nerves and get the win,” Andreescu said. “When you play for your country and people are supporting you in the stands, you want to do the best that you can and I think I did that. I tried to stay as aggressive as I could and I came out with the win.”
Abanda rebounded from a second-set loss, breaking Rus to go up 4-2 in the third and holding serve from there. The 22-year-old Abanda, ranked No. 223, needed 2:37 to dispatch the 129th-ranked Rus.
“I was really happy with the way I fought,” Abanda said. “She is at home and obviously wanted to win, so I had to go for my shots. It was tough at some points, I missed some shots, but I am pleased that I was able to manage the pressure and the nerves and get the win.”
Andreescu, from Mississauga, Ont., has surged up the world rankings after a remarkable opening month on the WTA Tour this season.
The 18-year-old, who started the year at No. 152, is coming off her first WTA-level tournament win at the Oracle Challenger in California two weeks ago.
Andreescu had 21 winners against Hogenkamp on Saturday and improved to 9-3 in Fed Cup ties. She is tabbed to team up with Ottawa’s Gabriela Dabrowski for the doubles match Sunday.
Dabrowski is 10th in the doubles rankings. Andreescu is ranked 527th in doubles.
The Netherlands holds the 10th position in the Fed Cup rankings, seven spots ahead of Canada.
The winning team will advance to the World Group I playoffs. The loser will have to compete in a World Group II playoff tie to maintain its place in the World Group II for 2020.
Canada and the Netherlands have split six previous Fed Cup meetings.