Venus wins 1,000th singles match as Kvitova makes emotional Fed Cup return
Venus Williams claimed victory in the 1,000th singles match of her storied career by hammering Arantxa Rus in the United States' Fed Cup tie with the Netherlands.
Williams made history just by stepping on the court on Saturday but made sure she celebrated the landmark in style with a 6-1 6-4 success, her 776th in singles.
The USA duly moved closer to victory as Coco Vandeweghe battled back from a set down to edge out Richel Hogenkamp 4-6 7-6 (8-6) 6-3 and claim her 13th Fed Cup win in a row.
On Sunday, Serena Williams will return to the court for the first time since winning the 2017 Australian Open while pregnant as she and Lauren Davis face Lesley Kerkhove and Demi Schuurs in doubles.
Czech Republic hold a 2-0 lead over Switzerland after winning both of the opening singles rubbers.
Barbora Strycova put her country in a commanding position by beating Belinda Bencic 6-2 6-4 after Petra Kvitova was made to fight hard for her 6-2 1-6 6-3 defeat of Viktorija Golubic.
Kvitova was playing in her first Fed Cup rubber since suffering severe hand injuries in a knife attack in December 2016, with the day's play preceded by a minute's silence in tribute to former Wimbledon champion Jana Novotna, who died in November.
"We went onto the court and held the minute's silence which made us cry," Kvitova said afterwards. "We thought, what a beginning, it's not ideal to go out there and play tennis right now. It was very sad... but a nice gesture.
"I did enjoy it - not really the second set - but overall I did enjoy it. It's always better to win those matches. I missed it a lot and when I heard the MC saying my name and the crowd, everything was back and as well I had some flashbacks to my past - but now it's more happiness."
The ties between Belarus and Germany and France and Belgium are each level at 1-1 after the opening day's play.