Ajla Tomljanovic has powered Australia previous Slovakia on the Billie Jean King Cup with one other dominant efficiency after Storm Sanders gave her nation the right begin.
Victories in each singles guarantee Australia enters Thursday’s second and last group B conflict with Belgium in Glasgow, Scotland, figuring out it should attain the semi-finals if it wins that tie.
Australian group captain Alicia Molik ignored the rankings when she picked Sanders for the all-important No.2 singles function, forward of teammate Priscilla Hon.
Sanders’ gorgeous upset of then-top-20 Belgian Elise Mertens at this occasion final 12 months was possible nonetheless contemporary in Molik’s thoughts however a lot of the West Australian’s success this season was on the doubles court docket.
Australia needed to win towards Slovakia to maintain alive its hopes of advancing from group play.
Sanders, whose singles rating has slumped to No.237 after being as excessive as 127 in January, dropped serve within the seventh recreation towards 146th-ranked Viktoria Kuzmova to be at risk of going a set down.
However that second proved the set off for the 28-year-old left-hander to boost her degree, revealing afterwards she advised herself it was “now or by no means”.
Sanders broke an more and more error-prone Kuzmova twice within the subsequent three video games – whereas escaping a 0-30 recreation on her personal serve in between – to go 6-4 up.
She then absorbed a break level at one-all within the second set with considered one of her eight forehand winners earlier than snatching a 4-2 lead on her method to a powerful 6-4 6-3 triumph.
Tomljanovic had already crushed Slovakia’s high participant, Anna Karolina Schmiedlova, twice this 12 months and had few issues doing so once more after some early bruising rallies.
The world No.33, who made the Wimbledon and US Open quarter-finals this 12 months in a career-best marketing campaign, blew Schmiedlova away in a 6-1 6-2 demolition in solely 80 minutes.
Tomljanovic stumbled barely with the end line in sight to concede serve within the fifth recreation of the second set however instantly acquired again on monitor and finally hit 13 winners to Schmiedlova’s one.
Sanders and Ellen Perez will goal to ship a clear sweep for Australia within the doubles.