Australia’s wait to lift the Billie Jean King Cup will extend into a 49th year after falling short in the final, losing to Switzerland 2-0.
The loss was Australia’s second in the final in four years and the 10th time they’ve lost in the final since they last lifted the trophy in 1974.
After the defeat, Australian Captain Alicia Molik promised “to get back and go one better” in 2023.
Storm Sanders, who defied her WTA ranking of 247 throughout the week, was unable to continue her heroics in the opening tie. Sanders fell agonisingly short of continuing her undefeated streak, losing to Jil Teichmann 3-6, 6-4, 3-6 in a tight three-set battle.
Needing to win to send the final to a deciding doubles rubber, Australia’s highest-ranked woman, Ajla Tomljanovic, was no match for Belinda Bencic, going down 2-6, 1-6.
The world No. 12 was a class above the Australian with Tomljanovic unable to counter the ball striking and precision hitting of her Swiss opponent.
Bencic’s victory gave Switzerland their first-ever win in the Billie Jean King Cup, previously known as the Fed Cup.
The loss likely brings an end to the magnificent career of eight-time Grand Slam champion Sam Stosur. Despite all her success over the past two decades, Stosur will finish her career without the title she had always dreamed of winning.
Stosur is optimistic that success is not too far away for the young Australian team.
“There is so much upside still to this team. We’ve got a pretty young team, besides me. These guys will be around for a long time to come,” Stosur said.
“Absolutely so proud of every single person who has been here this entire week. We give it our heart and soul every single time we step out on court. That’s all you can ask for.”
After a strong showing and with the emergence of Storm Sanders, Australia will feel confident they can break their drought in 2023.