Thursday, December 2, 2021

Australia reaches the semi-finals of the Billie Jean King Cup

Prague (NWN) – Australia earned a place in the Billie Jean King Cup semi-final on Thursday by winning both singles matches against Belarus.

The Aussies, who had reached the final of the last edition of the competition previously known as the Fed Cup, needed to win a best-of-three series to advance from Group B.

The Czech Republic and Switzerland will meet later in Group D on Thursday, with the winner setting up a match against Australia in the next round.

Ajla Tomljanovic beat Aliksandra Sasnovi 4-6, 6-2, 6-3 to give Australia an unassailable 2-0 lead. Storm Sanders defeated Yulia Hatouka 6-3, 6-3 in the first singles match.

Tomljanovic said, “I was glad I could come out today and the fact that I got the point makes me incredibly happy.”

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For 131st-ranked Sanders, it was his second win in the tournament. In her debut for Australia, she defeated top Belgian 18th-ranked Elise Mertens 3-6, 7-6(5), 6-0.

“Today, I definitely felt there was more pressure,” said Sanders, who did not suffer a break point. “For me, even though I was a little nervous, it was great to have teammates by the side and they certainly helped with their support.”

The 12 teams in the final were divided into four groups of three in a new competition format. Only the group winners advance to Friday’s semi-finals.

Last year’s edition was canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic.

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More NWN Tennis: https://apnews.com/hub/tennis and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

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