Venus Williams gave holders United States the perfect start in their Fed Cup World Group opener against the Netherlands with victory over Arantxa Rus in her 1,000th match as a professional.
With sister Serena watching on from the sidelines after being selected for the team, the American veteran completed a routine 6-1 6-4 win to put the hosts ahead.
CoCo Vandeweghe survived a tough battle with Richel Hogenkamp to win the second singles match on Saturday 4-6 7-6 (8-6) 6-3 and give the US a 2-0 buffer.
The Czech Republic, champions in five of the past seven years, ended day one of their tie against Switzerland 2-0 ahead after Petra Kvitova beat Viktorija Golubic in three sets before Barbara Strycova eased past Belinda Bencic.
Venus Williams, 37, was a big favourite against world No.138 Rus but was still relieved to claim her 776th career win.
“It’s never easy and it’s always a challenge,” Venus said.
“On paper, today I looked like I should win but it was a battle and I’m glad to get through that.”
Twenty three-time Grand Slam champion Serena is pencilled in for doubles action.
Elsewhere, Belarus were locked at 1-1 with Germany while France and Belgium were also level going into Sunday’s action.
Elise Mertens, an Australian Open semifinalist last month, gave Belgium the lead with a 6-2 6-1 victory over Pauline Parmentier but Kristina Mladenovic beat Kirsten Flipkens 6-2 6-4.
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