NIS, SERBIA: An injury-hit Serbia side battled hard against Slovak Republic but, ultimately, losing their two best players proved too big a loss for them to overcome.
It was left to Bojana Jovanovski, herself carrying a lower-back problem, to lead the charge against the Slovakians, but Daniela Hantuchova proved too strong for her in the opening match. Things seemed to be getting worse for the home nation as Dominika Cibulkova (SVK) found herself 64 54 up, but she was forced to retire, leaving the tie level after day one.
Undoubtedly, the rubber of the tie was the first of the reverse singles on day two. Jana Cepelova replaced the injured Cibulkova and took on Jovanovski. After the two players each took a set 75, the rubber went to a deciding third. After some enthralling tennis and many breaks of serve, Cepelova eventually took it 119. This meant that Hantuchova needed to beat Vesna Dolonc to send Slovak Republic through, and she did just that, winning in straight sets.
Serbia were then handed the doubles rubber on a walkover, meaning the tie finished 3-2 to Slovak Republic.