SWITZERLAND WARY OF SPIRITED BELARUS TEAM
No one in sport likes to be a favourite. It brings an added responsibility he or she can do without. Consequently, Heinz Guenthardt, the Swiss captain, was loath to accept that his team was favourite to beat Belarus here and reach its first Fed Cup by BNP Paribas Final since 1998. But he had a point when he said "every week we see lots of surprises that are never really surprises because they happen every week".
That said, there is no getting away from the fact that the underdog here should be able to swing away freely without fear of failure, which is a huge advantage in this sport. The last time it did so, two months ago, it took the Netherlands completely by surprise and there is every possibility it could do so again against even more experienced opposition in Switzerland.
And just to make matters that little bit more uncomfortable for the visitors, in the opening rubber on Saturday Aliaksandra Sasnovich - the Belarus No. 1 - will be playing Viktorija Golubic, whom coincidentally she beat just a week ago quite comfortably at the Swiss Championships in Biel when their ranking discrepancy of 54 places was made to look totally irrelevant.