Fed Cup defending champion the Czech Republic and Romania split their opening singles and Belarus led Germany 2-0 on Saturday.
Australian Open semifinalist Karolina Pliskova won the first point for the Czechs after easing past Mihaela Burzanescu 6-1, 6-4 on an indoor hard-court in Ostrava.
But Simona Halep won the second singles by routing Katerina Siniakova, the star of last year's final against the United States, 6-4, 6-0.
Pliskova and Halep, both former world No. 1s, will meet in the key first reverse singles on Sunday.
Romania has never beaten the Czechs, or been past the Fed Cup quarterfinals.
Belarus, a finalist in 2017, was in command in Braunschweig after Aliaksandra Sasnovich beat Tatjana Maria 7-6 (3), 6-3, and Aryna Sabalenka dispatched Andrea Petkovic 6-2, 6-1.
Belrarus is one win away from avenging losing to Germany 3-2 last year in Minsk.
In Liege, France was leading host Begium 1-0. Caroline Garcia, returning to the Fed Cup for the first time since the 2016 final, overcame Alison Van Uytvanck 7-6 (2), 4-6, 6-2.
Alize Cornet was facing Belgium's Elise Mertens in the second singles.
In the last World Group tie, 2018 finalist the United States led by Madison Keys faced Australia led by Ashleigh Barty later in Asheville.
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