Defending champion France and heavily favored host-Russia are tied at 1-1 after the first day of play in the finals of the Fed Cup women's team tennis event.

Russia did not start the Fed Cup final against France feeling overconfident, but the team certainly was feeling pretty good about its chances for a solid head start after the first day's singles.

But after the two matches, this clash at the ice stadium is very much alive. Nathalie Dechy came back to beat Svetlana Kuznetsova, who was serving for the match at a set and 5-4. The French player then rallied, forced a tiebreak, and then served for it at 5-4 in the third. But it was only five games after that when she gave France the first point, 3-6, 7-6, 8-6.

"Well, I think it's one of my biggest wins," she said. "It is in the final against a top-10 player, who won a Grand Slam. So, it is a really good win. I am really excited about it, but I am still expecting some more matches tomorrow. So, I want to stay focused on it."

Then Anastasia Myskina stopped a resurgent Tatiana Golovin 6-4, 7-6. Watching the match was Boris Yeltsin, who is the honorary Russian captain, and he hugged Myskina with relief.

"I am still feeling really positive, and I really feel confident no matter what, and I think Sveta will still feel confident no matter that she lost, because she played really good tennis,said Anastasia Myskina.

Day Two will see the reverse singles and the doubles.