Russians prevail over Swiss to win fifth Billie Jean King Cup championship

The Russian Tennis Federation is again within the winner’s circle on the Billie Jean King Cup, defeating Switzerland within the championship tie to assert the premier group competitors in girls’s tennis for the fifth time.

The Russians dominated the occasion within the 2000s, successful the title 4 occasions throughout that decade, however that they had not gained a title since 2008.

They put an finish to that 13-year drought after Daria Kasatkina and Liudmila Samsonova picked up singles wins Saturday night time to construct an insurmountable 2-0 lead over the Swiss squad and seize the cup on the O2 Enviornment in Prague.

The Russians denied Switzerland their maiden Billie Jean King Cup championship. The Swiss end as runners-up for the second time, together with their finalist exhibiting in 1998 once they fell to the five-time champions Spain.

Kasatkina acquired the Russians off on the suitable foot with a 6-2, 6-4 victory over Jil Teichmann of Switzerland within the opening match. Within the first assembly between the pair, the World No.28 Kasatkina ousted No.39 Teichmann in 1 hour and 19 minutes.

“I’m completely satisfied that I convey this crucial level to my group,” Kasatkina mentioned on court docket, after her win. “As we speak’s not completed, and now I’ve to be their supporter.”

The previous High 10 participant Kasatkina swept by the primary set as Teichmann was undone by 16 unforced errors, in comparison with simply 4 from the Russian.

Issues acquired nearer within the second set with each gamers making an attempt to regulate factors with their forehands, and a flurry of three straight breaks left Kasatkina forward 5-4. Serving for the match, Kasatkina used her velocity and technical acuity to attract errors from Teichmann and prevail within the first conflict of the day.

The cup was clinched when No.40 Samsonova ousted Seventeenth-ranked Belinda Bencic in a three-set comeback, 3-6, 6-3, 6-4, after 2 hours and 22 minutes of gripping tennis.

Neither participant had misplaced a match this week up thus far, with Bencic going 4-0 (3-0 in singles) and Samsonova successful her singles and doubles matches Friday within the semifinals in opposition to america.

Russian captain Igor Andreev substituted Samsonova, who had gained her two earlier matches in opposition to Bencic, for Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova within the second match of the day. 

Samsonova defeated Bencic to win her first WTA singles title in Berlin this summer season, and he or she grabbed one other win over the previous World No.4 in Luxembourg this autumn.

Nevertheless, this yr’s Olympic gold medalist Bencic notched the primary set as she continued to play her finest tennis whereas representing her nation. She broke Samsonova for a 5-3 lead, then adopted with a love maintain, culminating with an ace.

However simply as in her win over former US Open champion Sloane Stephens on Friday, Samsonova shook off a tricky first set, and her highly effective recreation got here into its personal within the second set. Samsonova slammed a forehand crosscourt winner on the sideline to earn the one break of that set at 3-2.

Within the opening recreation of the ultimate set, the massive returning by Samsonova gave her a service break, which might show to be decisive in the long term. Bencic had break factors in every of Samsonova’s subsequent two service video games, however the Russian held agency, and he or she confidently served out the match at 5-4.

“I’ve too many feelings now,” Samsonova mentioned on court docket, straight after beating Bencic for the third time this season and clinching the Billie Jean King Cup for her nation. “It is unbelievable. I am unbelievably completely satisfied.”

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