April 17th, 2016
The halcyon days of Russian Fed Cup are no more. With no players in the Top 30 representing, the Russians are pounded into zonal play by former world No. 1 Victoria Azarenka, who won her first two singles matches before Belarus’ No. 100-ranked Aliaksandra Sasnovich beat Russia’s Margarita Gasparyan to put Belarus into World Group I for 2017. It is the first time in Belarus Fed Cup history that they will advance into World Group I, and Russia drops to zonal play for the first time in 19 years.