NIS, Serbia (AP) — Slovakia conceded a 1-1 tie to host Serbia after Dominika Cibulkova retired hurt while leading her singles in the first round of the Fed Cup on Saturday.
Cibulkova had to gift Vesna Dolonc the win, despite leading 6-4, 5-4, when she was overcome by an apparent leg muscle strain. She had to be taken off the court on a stretcher. The Russian-born Dolonc, making her Fed Cup debut, fought hard against Cibulkova, saving two set points at 5-4 in the first set and managing an early break in the second. Both players asked for medical help during the second set before Cibulkova fell to the ground in pain.
Earlier, Daniela Hantuchova won the first singles for Slovakia by defeating Bojana Jovanovski 7-5, 6-2. Hantuchova and Jovanovski traded breaks in a tough first set. Hantuchova broke twice take lead 4-0 in the second, and served out the match after Jovanovski failed to convert two break points.
"I am always very excited when I play for my country, that's a special feeling," said Hantuchova. Jovanovski was leading Serbia after stars Ana Ivanovic and Jelena Jankovic withdrew because of injuries.