Just four teams are left in the Billie Jean King Cup – Australia, Switzerland, Russia and the United States.
Twelve teams contested the group stage, producing 24 thrilling tennis matches. After topping their respective groups, the four semi-finalists are now playing for a place in tomorrow’s final.
With the tournament in Prague now reaching a conclusion, GiveMeSport Women looks at the tennis stars who shone in the group stage.
Belinda Bencic – Switzerland
Switzerland’s Belinda Bencic has enjoyed a brilliant year so far, earning an Olympic gold medal in the singles contest at Tokyo 2020.
She has been pivotal in Switzerland’s progression to the knockout stages of the Billie Jean King Cup, winning two matches against high-ranking opponents.
The 24-year-old first came back from one set down to defeat Germany’s Angelique Kerber 5-7, 6-2, 6-2, before beating Czech world number three Barbora Krejčíková 7-6, 6-4.
Bencic has also had a hand in a doubles victory, pairing up with Jil Teichmann to overcome Czech Republic’s Lucie Hradecká and Kateřina Siniaková 6-3, 6-3.
Storm Sanders – Australia
In the absence of world number one Ashleigh Barty, it would have been easy to predict a tough tournament for Australia.
But Storm Sanders has stepped up for her country in Barty’s absence, spearheading a run to the semi-finals. The 27-year-old began her campaign by stunning Belgium’s Elise Mertens, 3-6, 7-6, 6-0.
She followed this up with a resounding 6-3, 6-3 victory against Yuliya Hatouka. The Billie Jean King Cup has seen Sanders play at a level higher than her 131st world ranking.
Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova – Russia
Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova has impressed for Russia so far. The world number 12 encountered two tough singles matches in the group stage, but battled through to help her country earn valuable points.
She first defeated Rebecca Marino of Canada 6-4, 4-6, 6-2, before getting past Alizé Cornet of France 5-7, 6-4, 6-2.
She will have to maintain her brilliant form to help Russia earn a place in the Billie Jean King Cup final.
Danielle Collins – United States
Group C was a close affair, with all three teams only winning one match each. The United States progressed to the knockouts as they boasted the highest percentage of games won – 54%.
Danielle Collins can be thanked for this. The world number 30 looked full of confidence, easing past Anna Karolína Schmiedlová of Slovakia 6-3, 6-2.
She then recorded an empathic 6-1, 6-0 victory against Sara Sorribes Tormo of Spain.
Russia are taking on the United States in the semi-finals, before Australia take on Switzerland. The final is scheduled to take place tomorrow.News Now - Sport News