United States Defeats Switzerland in Billie Jean King Cup Finals
By Associated Press | Nov 9, 2023, 05:02 PM ET
SEVILLE, Spain — The United States kicked off their campaign in the Billie Jean King Cup Finals with a resounding victory over defending champion Switzerland on Thursday, setting up a crucial match against the Czech Republic for a spot in the semifinals.
Danielle Collins and Sofia Kenin showcased their skills and determination as they won their respective singles matches, securing the win for the American team and leaving them tied with the Czech Republic at the top of Group A. The highly anticipated clash between the U.S. and the Czechs is scheduled for Friday.
Only the winners from each of the four groups will advance to the semifinals. The Czech Republic had previously defeated Switzerland on Tuesday, adding to the intensity of the upcoming match against the United States.
Despite missing their top-ranked players, No. 3 Coco Gauff and No. 5 Jessica Pegula, who opted to participate in the WTA finals held just before the Billie Jean King Cup Finals, the American team displayed exceptional performance.
In a thrilling encounter, Collins defeated teenager Celine Naef with a score of 7-6 (4), 6-1, securing her sixth win in seven Billie Jean King Cup matches. Kenin, playing her first Billie Jean King Cup tie since 2020, triumphed over Viktorija Golubic with a score of 6-3, 6-7 (1), 7-5, sealing the victory for the Americans.
“I was very feisty and eager to climb up the rankings, and I definitely feel like I’m receiving more attention now,” expressed Kenin. “I truly believe I deserve it.”
The United States remains undefeated against Switzerland in the Billie Jean King Cup, winning all 10 encounters between the two nations. With 18 titles, the U.S. holds the record for being the most successful nation in Billie Jean King Cup history. They are now aiming to reach the semifinals for the second time in three years.
Following this year’s Billie Jean King Cup Finals, U.S. team captain Kathy Rinaldi will be stepping down from her role. Collins praised Rinaldi, stating, “I know in any tough situation, I can look over at Kathy and there is a calming presence about her. She’s one of my biggest role models on and off the court.”
In other matches, Italy defeated Germany 3-0 in Group D, securing their first Billie Jean King Cup semifinal appearance in nine years. Martina Trevisan and Jasmine Paolini emerged victorious in their singles matches, while Elisabetta Cocciaretto and Lucia Bronzetti triumphed in the doubles match against Germany’s Anna-Lena Friedsam and Laura Siegemund.
In Group C, Canada continued their winning streak by defeating Poland, following their earlier victory against host nation Spain. Marina Stakusic and Leylah Fernandez showcased their skills and determination, securing the win for the Canadian team.
Australia also celebrated a hard-fought victory over Kazakhstan, with Storm Hunter leading the charge in her final Billie Jean King Cup tie after 10 years as the Australian captain. Hunter’s win in the singles match, along with the doubles victory by Hunter and Ellen Perez, propelled Australia to success.
Australia had previously suffered a defeat against Slovenia in their opening tie in Group B.