'S-HERTOGENBOSCH, Netherlands (AP) Casey Dellacqua, a late replacement for the injured Samantha Stosur, beat Arantxa Rus in straight sets to draw Australia level with the Netherlands after the first day Saturday of their Fed Cup World Group playoff.
Australia, a losing semifinalist last year, suffered a setback before the tie even started when former U.S. Open champion Stosur pulled out after aggravating an Achilles tendon injury.
But Dellacqua made sure she wasn't missed, stepping in to beat Rus 7-5, 6-3 in a tight second match.
The lefthander from Perth rushed to a 5-1 lead in the opening set before Rus reeled off four straight games to level the set.
Dellacqua fought back to take the set, and made the decisive break of the second set in the eighth game. Rus forced a break point in the next game, but Dellacqua saved it and served out for the match.
Kiki Bertens gave the home team, seeking to reach the World Group for the first time since 1998, a perfect start by dismantling Jarmila Gajdosova 6-1, 6-3 in the opening match on an indoor clay court.
''I served well on the important points'' against the higher-ranked Gajdosova, Bertens said.