PERFECT POLES QUALIFY FOR BJK CUP FINALS; CZECHS, USA SURVIVE


World No.1 Iga Swiatek won her 19th consecutive match on Saturday, punching Poland’s ticket into the finals of the Billy Jean King Cup.

Swiatek’s sensational 6-0, 6-0 performance over Romania’s Andreea Prisacariu on Saturday came after Poland had already established a 2-0 lead in the tie.


The 52-minute victory confirmed that Poland will compete at the Billy Jean King Cup finals in November with a host nation still to be announced.


Joining Poland in the finals will be Kazakhstan who progressed on the back of World No. 19 Elena Rybakina’s marathon 4-6, 6-3, 7-5 win over Germany’s Angelique Kerber.


It was the three-time major champion Kerber that actually served for the match at 5-3 after breaking but the Kazakh picked herself off the canvas to improve her nation’s lead in the tie to 3-0.

Also securing decisive 3-0 advantages before progressing were Italy, Spain and Canada who defeated France, the Netherlands and Latvia respectively.


For the four-time champion Italians, it was Camila Giorgi who secured the insurmountable lead following a convincing 6-2, 6-0 win over Harmony Tan.

World No. 30 Giorgi was one of the form players over the weekend, dropping just five games over the course of her two singles matches.


Five-time champions Spain were also clinical in their performance, advancing to November’s finals on the back of Sara Sorribes Tormo’s 6-0, 6-4 victory over Aranxta Rus.

Canada ultimately secured a 4-0 win, but it was their 2021 US Open finalist Leylah Fernandez who booked them a spot in November after a 6-2, 6-1 triumph over Daniel Vismane.

The USA and Czech Republic have also secured spots at November’s finals, but both had to do it the hard way in the form of doubles deciders.


18-time Billie Jean King Cup Champions United States came into Saturday with a 2-0 advantage in their tie with the Ukraine but some inspired tennis from Dayana Yastremska and Katarina Zavastaka in their singles rubbers against Jessica Pegula and Shelby Rogers respectively helped bring them back from the brink.

The Ukrainians’ both prevailed by the exact same scoreline of 6-3, 6-4 to bring about a deciding doubles, featuring Yastremska and Kyudmyla Kichenok for the Ukraine and Pegula and Asia Muhammad for the USA.


Ultimately it would be the American duo that would secure the tie for their nation after they came away with a 7-6(5), 6-3 win in an hour and 36 minutes.

The Czech Republic were similarly pushed all the way before claiming their tie 3-2 over Great Britain. The Czechs will now aim to keep their Billy Jean King Cup dominance of recent times going with six victories from the last 10 editions.


Coming into Saturday the tie was locked at 1-1 but Olympic silver medallist Marketa Vondrousovaquickly gave the Czechs a 2-1 advantage following a 6-1, 6-1 dismantling of reigning US Open champion Emma Raducanu.


The British teenager, who only 24 hours earlier had won her first professional match on clay, was no match for Vondrousova who prevailed in just over an hour.

But Britain would not go quietly and Harriet Dart claimed her singles rubber against 16-year-old Linda Fruhvirtova 6-0, 5-7, 6-2 to level the tie once more and force a doubles decider.


Here Vondrousova and Karolina Muchova would team up and claim a 6-1, 7-5 win over Dart and Katie Swan to give the Czechs a chance at yet another Cup crown.


Billy Jean King Cup Finals Qualifiers:

- Australia

- Belgium

- Canada

- Czech Republic

- Italy

- Kazakhstan

- Poland

- Slovakia

- Spain

- Switzerland

- United States