After Aryna Sabalenka beat Tatjana Maria, playing her first tie for Germany in seven years, 4-6, 6-1, 6-2, Belarus would have expected to go 2-0 up.
But Antonia Lottner, making her Fed Cup debut for Germany, upset Aliaksandra Sasnovich, ranked more than 100 spots higher, 7-5, 6-4.
“I feel amazing,” Lottner said. “I was so nervous, my pulse must have been 200 (bpm).”
Sasnovich was gracious in defeat, and captain Eduard Dubrou said she was playing ill. She was set to see a doctor.
She’s scheduled to play the first reverse singles on Sunday, and the doubles with Sabalenka. The pair led Belarus last year to its first final.
Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko attended on Saturday.
“When you know the president is in the stands,” Sabalenka said, “you want to show him your best tennis.”
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