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Fed Cup: 2017 finalist Belarus set for rookie Germans

February 9, 2018
Belarus' Fed Cup team member Aryna Sabalenka, left, and Tatjana Maria of Germany pose for photo after draw ceremony, in Minsk, Friday, Feb. 9, 2018. The Fed Cup World Group first round matches between Belarus and Germany will take place Feb. 10 - 11, 2018. (AP Photo/Sergei Grits)
Belarus' Fed Cup team member Aryna Sabalenka, left, and Tatjana Maria of Germany pose for photo after draw ceremony, in Minsk, Friday, Feb. 9, 2018. The Fed Cup World Group first round matches between Belarus and Germany will take place Feb. 10 - 11, 2018. (AP Photo/Sergei Grits)

MINSK, Belarus (AP) — Aryna Sabalenka will try to get Belarus off to a good start against Tatjana Maria, who will play her first Fed Cup tie for Germany in seven years on Saturday.

Maria is leading Germany because the country’s three leading players are unavailable: Angelique Kerber, Julia Goerges, Carina Witthoeft. Neither are Laura Siegemund and Andrea Petkovic. All five featured last year.

Sabalenka and Belarus No. 1 Aliaksandra Sasnovich led the team to their first final last year, losing to the United States 3-2.

Sabalenka won her only previous meeting with Maria last year, while Sasnovich lost her only previous meeting in 2014 with Antonia Lottner, who is making her Fed Cup debut.

“I’ve changed a lot, she has changed,” Sasnovich said. “It’s going to be really interesting.”

Belarus and Germany are meeting in the Fed Cup for the first time.

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