Australia and Kazakhstan became the first sides to register wins in the Billie Jean King Cup as the final 12-team competition began in Glasgow’s Emirates Arena. 

Up first, Australia, led by Ajla Tomljanovic and Storm Sanders’ singles wins earned a 2-1 win over Slovakia in Group B before Yulia Putintseva and Wimbledon champion Elena Rybakina helped Kazakhstan down Britain 2-1 in Group C.

The Australians, bidding for a first title in the competition in 48 years relied on the experience of Tomljanovic who beat Anna Karolina Schmiedlova 6-1, 6-2.

The 29-year-old, who is best remembered as the person to end Serena Williams’ run at the US Open, is the best chance Australia has of adding a seventh Billie Jean King Cup to their cabinet.

She was well supported in the opener by Sanders who set the tone by overcoming Viktoria Kuzmova 6-4, 6-3 before Slovakia managed to get on the board in the doubles when Kuzmova teamed up with Tereza Mihalikova to beat Sanders and Ellen Perez 2-6, 6-3, 10-6.

Meanwhile, Kazakhistan downed Great Britain, who are without their best player in Emma Raducanu, 2-1 aided by their singles wins.

Yulia Putintseva earned a comeback 4-6, 6-3, 6-2 win over Katie Boulter to get the ball rolling for her side before Rybakina eased past Harriet Dart 6-1, 6-4 win.

Olivia Nicholls and Alicia Barnett then earned a point for Britain with a 7-5, 6-3 win over Rybakina and Anna Danilina in the doubles.

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