Switzerland wins the Billie Jean King Cup for the first time

Sunday was a historic day for Switzerland, as they won their first Billie Jean King Cup title, which was dominant in the women’s first team event in professional tennis.

Jill Teichmann and reigning Olympic champion Belinda Bencic combined for individual victories to give the Swiss an indomitable 2-0 lead over Australia in their semi-final rematch last year, winning the coveted tournament in Glasgow, Scotland.

In today’s opening game, Tishman outpaced this week’s superstar Storm Sanders 6-3, 4-6, 6-3. Bencic then followed up with a quick 6-2 6-1 victory over Agla Tomljanovic to win the cup.

“We got to the finals last year and we were very sad,” Bencic said in court after the week wrapped. But in the locker room [Teichmann] They came to me and said ‘Next year, we’ll do it, and we’ll take it’. And we did, I’m very proud of.”

Switzerland, runners-up last year as well as in 1998, completed a dream week with a 9-1 lead in matches in Glasgow. Victoria Golubek and Simona Walter also contributed to the team’s efforts in Scotland.

Australia, a seven-times champion, had been chasing its first title since 1974.

In last year’s Billie Jean King Cup semi-final, Tishman knocked out fellow left-handed Sanders 6-0, 6-3. However, Sanders, one of the top 10 players in the doubles but ranked 237 in the singles, came in for the rematch at the weekend of Opening Eye. In Glasgow, Sanders has won all of her previous three singles matches plus going 2–1 in doubles.

Sanders’ performance extended into Sunday’s game, where her impressive shot and fighting spirit brought her back from a set and collapse to push her clash with Tishman into the decisive third set.

However, Tishman tightened during an 11-minute match to break 3-2 in the decider, finishing more points solid as the set progressed. The ace gave Tishman a 5-3 lead, wrapping up the difficult match by firing a forehand over the line to break for victory after 2 hours 18 minutes.

“It was a great fight,” Tishman said in court afterwards. “Storm has been playing really well all week, I was expecting a big fight. So I was here, getting into the fight, and I’m so glad I got the point.”

This was followed by Bencic with a commanding performance, which took an hour and 15 minutes to field Tomljanovic in a showdown between the best players of the two nations. Bencic converted half of her 12 break points en route to victory.

Bencic broke 5-2 after converting her fifth break point in a 10-minute match, then finished the first set with a shot from her signature winger, the backhand.

In the second set, the forehand winner gave Bencic an early break 2-1, and last year’s Olympic gold medalist didn’t look back as she finished the week in Glasgow.

“We didn’t just win that day; it was this week, it’s actually been over the years, we tried to get even better,” said captain Heinz Gonthardt. “I’ve seen how many close points there are; who knows why we win some and lose some. A lot of it has to do with the heart, and this team has a lot of heart.”

Meanwhile, the draw for next year’s Billie Jean King Cup qualifiers took place on Sunday. It will take place from 14-15 April 2023.

This weekend, 16 nations faced off in home-and-away matches, with the eight winners from those ties moving into the 2023 qualifying draw, along with the 10 nations that finished between third and twelfth in Glasgow this week.

The nine winners from the matches below will join this year’s finalists Switzerland and Australia and the host country (or if they have already qualified, a wild card) in next year’s Billie Jean King Cup Finals:

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