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Russian Tennis Federation's Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova celebrates winning her group stage singles match against Canada's Rebecca Marino, at the Billie Jean King Cup finals, on Nov. 2.DAVID W CERNY/Reuters

Russia brought Canada to Earth by winning their Billie Jean King Cup tie 3-0 on Tuesday.

Canada’s confidence was boosted the day before when it upset defending champion France, but Russia with all of its players in the top 50 was too strong.

Daria Kasatkina eased past Carol Zhao of Richmond Hill, Ont., in straight sets, and Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova clinched the win overcoming Vancouver’s Rebecca Marino 6-4, 4-6, 6-2.

“In the second set, the chances [to win] were 50-50 and I’m just happy with the third set,” Pavlyuchenkova said.

Russia’s dominance was completed in the doubles, where Veronika Kudermetova and Liudmila Samsonova defeated Ottawa’s Gabriela Dabrowski and Marino 6-3, 6-1.

Russia completes Group A against France on Wednesday.

Canada competed in Prague without its two top-ranked players, world No. 24 Bianca Andreescu and No. 26 Leylah Fernandez.

The 12 teams in the finals are divided into four groups of three teams. Only the group winners advance to the semi-finals on Friday.

In Group B, 2019 runner-up Australia opened its account beating Belgium 2-0.

After Daria Gavrilova’s three-set win over Greet Minnen, the 131st-ranked Storm Sanders on debut came from a set down to stun 18th-ranked Elise Mertens 3-6, 7-6 (5), 6-0. Sanders converted her second match point with the last of her 35 winners.

“That was a most incredible feeling, I’m still shaking,” Sanders said.

Australia next plays Belarus on Thursday.

Auger-Aliassime stays in running for place at ATP Finals

PARIS Félix Auger-Aliassime stayed in contention for a place at the ATP Finals by beating Italian qualifier Gianluca Mager 4-6, 6-4, 6-1 Tuesday in the first round of the Paris Masters.

The ninth-seeded Auger-Aliassime hit two double-faults and sent a forehand wide to allow Mager to serve out the first set. But he levelled the match when Mager double-faulted on set point in the second.

Auger-Aliassime then broke Mager twice in the third.

“I had difficulty with my pace at the beginning of the match. I didn’t hit enough first serves so I had a bit of pressure on my second serve,” Auger-Aliassime said. “I bounced back in the second set. I tried to find solutions in returns, changing my positions, varying my returns. And after returning so well, I created occasions and I won the second set and then I finished very well.”

Qualifying for the ATP Finals would cap a good season for the 21-year-old Canadian, who reached the semi-finals at the U.S. Open and the quarter-finals at Wimbledon. He also reached the final at the Murray River Open in Melbourne and the Stuttgart Open in Germany.

Novak Djokovic, Daniil Medvedev, Stefanos Tsitsipas, Alexander Zverev, Andrey Rublev and Matteo Berrettini have already qualified for the ATP Finals. Auger-Aliassime, Casper Ruud, Jannik Sinner, Hubert Hurkacz and Cameron Norrie are among the players hoping to join the eight-man tournament.

American players Reilly Opelka, Tommy Paul and Taylor Fritz also advanced to the second round, as did Karen Khachanov of Russia, Carlos Alcaraz of Spain and James Duckworth of Australia.

Opelka, the runner-up in Toronto, hit 19 aces while beating Filip Krajinovic of Serbia 6-3, 7-6 (4), while Fritz defeated Lorenzo Sonego of Italy 3-6, 6-2, 6-3 and Paul beat Jan-Lennard Struff of Germany 6-3, 6-4.