Paolini saw off Garcia in a third set 7-6, 5-7, 6-4 in a match that went the distance and it was the Italian who proved to find the winning formula.
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Martina Trevisan had initially fired her country into the lead after recovering from a set down to dispatch Alize Cornet. The latter looked set to seal an important opener for her country in a tournament she loves as they looked for a fourth Billie Jean King Cup Finals title.
But instead after the 33-year-old claimed the opening set 6-2, Trevisan came storming back to restore parity and she sealed it again by the same scoreline to hand them the lead and the momentum going into Paolini's tie with Garcia.
A team on paper that may not have been as fancied compared to the French, but with the ever improving Paolini and Trevisan who has long anchored the Italian charge in the WTA, it could prove to be a winning formula as proven in their opening group match. Also today sees Canada begin their charge as they face off against Spain.
Canada without Bianca Andreescu but featuring Leylah Fernandez and Genie Bouchard face a Spanish team with Paula Badosa as their leading player albeit a player who has suffered with a stress fracture.