Seville [Spain], November 8 (ANI): Eleven-time champions Czech Republic whitewashed reigning champions Switzerland in the opening Group A match while Slovenia defeated last year’s runners-up Australia 2-1 in a Group B clash at the 2023 Billie Jean King Cup Finals, which kicked off in Seville, Spain.
This week, 12 nations will be competing for the prestigious team title in women’s tennis.
Group play will continue through Friday with four round-robin groups consisting of three countries each. On Saturday, the four group winners move on to the knockout semifinals. On Sunday, there will be a championship tie.
Tuesday’s win over the reigning champion Switzerland in their Group A match gave the Czech Republic a good start. The Czechs hope to revert to their dominating ways from the previous ten years when they won six Billie Jean King Cups in eight years from 2011 to 2018.
The Czech upsurge began with Linda Noskova defeating Celine Naef, a fellow 18-year-old, 7-6(2), 4-6, 6-4. Noskova won her Billie Jean King Cup debut after rallying from a 4-1 deficit in the third set to win the next five games in a row.
Marie Bouzkova then defeated Viktorija Golubic 6-4, 6-4, securing an overwhelming 2-0 lead for the Czechs in the match. In the first set, Bouzkova trailed by a break twice before rallying to win in one hour and forty-four minutes. Along with the Czechs and the Swiss, the United States, the 18-time Billie Jean King Cup champions, are ranked third in Group A.
Slovenia began the week with a 2-1 victory over Australia, the seven-time champion, in their Group B match. Slovenia has won the Billie Jean King Cup Finals for the first time ever.
Slovenia sealed the opening tie of the tournament on Tuesday after winning both of its singles matches in straight sets. Ajla Tomljanovic was beaten 6-4, 6-1 by Kaja Juvan, while Tamara Zidansek triumphed 6-1, 6-4 over Daria Saville.
Canada, Poland and five-time champion Spain make up Group C in round-robin action. Spain will look to prevail on home soil as they begin their campaign against Canada on Wednesday. (ANI)
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