TENNIS FED CUP 2015 – Italy will face a very tough World Group Play-off match against the USA at home. In the other Play-off matches the Netherlands will host Australia, Poland will take on Switzerland and Canada will play against Romania. Diego Sampaolo
The most intriguing match of the World Group Play-off to be played on 18-19 April will be the clash between Italy and the USA. The two teams met 13 times in history. The US team won the first nine head-to-head matches. Italy won the last four matches in the past six years in the two Fed Cup finals in 2009 and 2010 and the first-round matches in 2013 and 2014. In the last clash last year in Cleveland Karin Knapp and Camila Giorgi led Italy to a 3-1 win against a US team featuring Madison Keys, Christina McHale, Alison Riske and Lauren Davis.
In next April’s match Italy could face a much stiffer challenge as the US team will probably feature Serena and Venus Williams and Australian Open semifinalist Madison Keys who helped their team win 4-1 against Argentina in Buenos Aires in the World Group II match. The Williams sisters have not played very often in the Fed Cup but they are representing their country in order to be eligible for the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.
The US will be looking to beat Italy for the first time in 16 years to return to the top-tier of the World Group. The US team has won 17 Fed Cup titles but they have not lifted this Trophy since 2000 with a star-studded team featuring Monica Seles, Lindsey Davenport and Jennifer Capriati.
Australia will start as the favourite when they will travel to the Netherlands, as the Aussie team have three players who ranked higher than Dutch Number 1 player Kiki Bertens.
Simona Halep will lead Romania who will start as favourite when they will travel to Canada.
Poland featuring sisters Agnieszka and Urszula Radwanska will play against Switzerland probably in the Krakow Arena where they lost against Russia last week-end despite the strong support of 15000 fans. The Swiss team beat Sweden with a good team featuring World Number 36 and 37 players Timea Bacsinszky and Belinda Bencic.
Great Britain To Play Billie Jean King Cup Finals After Glasgow Picked As Host Nation
The UK will stage the finale of the women’s biggest team tennis event for the first time in over 30 years.
The International Tennis Federation has selected Glasgow as the host nation of this year’s Billie Jean King Cup Finals following a successful bid from the British LTA.
A total of 12 nations will participate in the six-day event which will be held between November 8-13 at the Emirates Arena. A facility originally built for the 2014 Commonwealth Games that has since staged various events, including Davis Cup ties. It has a seating capacity of roughly just over 8000 people. This year’s finals will be held on indoor hardcourts.
It is only the fourth time Britain has staged the finals of the tournament which was previously known as the Fed Cup. It was previously held in London 1963, Eastbourne 1977 and Nottingham 1991.
“We are delighted to be bringing the 2022 Billie Jean King Cup by BNP Paribas Finals to Glasgow. The LTA presented a very impressive bid as part of a competitive hosting process. They have successfully hosted Davis Cup ties in Glasgow, and we look forward to having the women’s World Cup of Tennis take place in front of passionate tennis fans from around the world in an electric atmosphere, at the culmination of the women’s tennis season.” ITF President David Haggerty said in a statement.
Great Britain automatically qualifies for the final as they are the hosts. They will be joined by Australia, Belgium, Canada, Czech Republic, Italy, Kazakhstan, Poland, Spain, Slovakia, Switzerland and USA. The format of the round-robin event will see the teams split into four groups of three. The will of each group will then progress to the knockout stages.
“This is a fantastic opportunity to build the profile of women’s tennis and focus attention on women’s sport. The entire team are very excited about playing in front of a home crowd and hearing some loud support across the whole week.” British captain Anne Keothavong commented.
The Russian Tennis Federation won the tournament last year but they will not be allowed to participate this year. Russian and Belarussian teams have been suspended from taking part in ITF team events as the result of the Ukraine war. Russia launched a ‘special military’ operation on February 24th and Belarus is suspected of supporting them.
The draw for the Billie Jean King Cup finals will take place at a later date.
Emma Raducanu Believes Clay Could Be ‘One Of Her Strongest’ Surfaces
The world No.12 is yet to play a Tour event on the clay but she has high hopes for the future.
US Open champion Emma Raducanu may still be relatively new to the WTA Tour but she believes the upcoming clay swing could help provide her with the foundations to shine on the surface.
Raducanu, who made her WTA debut last June, is yet to play a Tour event on the clay. In fact, she has never played a senior event of any kind on the surface. However, during her junior event she played in nine clay tournaments between 2016-2018, including the 2018 girls French Open where she lost in the second round to Denmark’s Clara Tauson.
Despite her lack of experience, the Brit remains confident that she will be able to thrive on the surface. Speaking to reporters ahead of her country’s Billie Jean Cup tie with the Czech Republic, which will take place on clay, Raducanu believes her love for sliding on the court will help her in the coming years.
“I feel this could be one of my strongest surfaces going forward but of course it’s early days right now,” she said.
“I feel like I have got a lot more potential physically. And I do enjoy sliding. So, after spending more time on this surface, I’m sure I’ll time it better and learn more about the surface but also just the time that the clay brings. I feel like I can really use it and play aggressive.”
Since her breakthrough run at the US Open last September, Raducanu has struggled to maintain her form with a series of disappointing results. So far this season the rising star has managed to win just two out of seven matches played. Four out of her five losses were to players ranked outside the world’s top 50.
Part of the problem for the 19-year-old has been her own body. She has suffered from a hip injury which forced her to retire from a match in Mexico earlier this year and has also been hindered by blisters. Furthermore, Raducanu revealed that she has also lost all of her toenails. Prompting British team captain Anne Keothavong to joke that everybody is ‘a little bit scared’ by her toes.
“I have no toenails,” Raducanu stated.
“It was just my foot, my shoes, they’ve just been sliding around a lot [in the shoe].
“I had a small niggle in Miami but now I have no physical thing.”
Raducanu will be hoping to lead her country to victory in their Billie Jean King Cup tie which will be held in Prague. It will be the first time she has ever played in the event.
“I love playing as a team, especially the team we’ve got here,” she said.
“I feel like everyone has been a lot of fun and there’s been a great connection off court, whether that’s playing murder mystery games or cornhole, we’re definitely bonding and gelling very well.”
Raducanu is the only top 20 player participating in the tie.
Great Britain Handed Tough Billie Jean King Cup Qualifiers Draw Against Czech Republic
Great Britain have a tough test in the Czech Republic in the BJK Cup qualifiers in April.
Great Britain will need to beat the Czech Republic away if they want to qualify for next year’s Billie Jean King Cup Finals after the draw was made today.
Anne Keothavong’s team beat Mexico earlier in the year to earn a place in the qualifiers next year.
However in today’s draw, Great Britain will need to overcome a huge test as they will go to the Czech Republic next April.
Czech Republic have won six of the last nine Billie Jean King Cups and boast the likes of Karolina Pliskova, Barbora Krejcikova, Marketa Vondrousova, Katarina Siniakova and Petra Kvitova.
Speaking after the draw Keothavong is looking forward to the test that awaits them in April, “The team are really looking forward to taking on Czech Republic in our 2022 qualifier and hopefully continuing our momentum in the Billie Jean King Cup next year,” she told skysports.com.
The Czechs are currently hosting this year’s finals and fell at the semi-final stage after losing a tight match to Switzerland.
Other key matches sees a repeat of this year’s group stage match between Belgium and Belarus while USA will host Elina Svitolina’s Ukraine team.
Here are the ties with the qualifiers taking place on the 15-16th of April next year with the finals happening next November:
Czech Republic v Great Britain
Australia v Slovakia
France v Italy
USA v Ukraine
Belarus v Belgium
Germany v Kazakhstan
Canada v Latvia
Spain v Netherlands
‘A Long Time Coming’ – Injury-Stricken Hyeon Chung Ready To End Two-Year Absence
Should Roger Federer Become A Super Coach? Djokovic And Murray Give Their View
Novak Djokovic ‘Worried’ By Wrist Issue After Laver Cup Defeat
Lorenzo Sonego claims the title in Metz
Tiafoe Topples Tsitsipas, Auger-Aliassime sinks Djokovic As Team World Clinches First Laver Cup Title
Roger Federer To Make Last-Minute Decision Over Laver Cup Participation, Says Coach
Juan Martin Del Potro Reveals Physical And Mental Trauma From Tennis Retirement
Andy Murray Calls For Earlier Start To Davis Cup Ties After Great Britain Loses Late-Night Thriller
Serena Williams’ Spectacular US Open Outfit Includes Diamond-Encrusted Shoes
US Open 2022: John McEnroe Lashes Out At Journalist In Midst Of Nadal Row
(VIDEO EXCLUSIVE) ITF President David Haggerty ’Satisfied’ With Davis Cup Format Despite Issues
(VIDEO EXCLUSIVE) ITF President David Haggerty Reacts To Federer’s Retirement
(VIDEO EXCLUSIVE) Elena Rybakina’s Wimbledon Win Was Good But The Level Wasn’t Great
(VIDEO EXCLUSIVE): Novak Djokovic Battles Past Norrie, Faces Kyrgios In The Final
(VIDEO EXCLUSIVE) Brad Gilbert Makes A Bold prediction on Sinner, Backs Kyrgios To Trouble Nadal
ATP3 days ago
Laver Cup Daily Preview: Novak Djokovic to Play Singles and Doubles on Saturday
Latest news3 days ago
Stan Wawrinka sets up semifinal against Alexander Bublik in Metz
Focus2 days ago
Roger Federer Claims Happiness Over Tennis Retirement In Emotional Last Match
Hot Topics2 days ago
Laver Cup: Matteo Berrettini Grateful for Roger Federer’s Support En Route to Victory
Latest news2 days ago
Zheng Qinwen sets up final against Liudmila Samsonova in Tokyo
ATP2 days ago
Laver Cup Daily Preview: Team Europe Goes for a Fifth Straight Laver Cup
Latest news2 days ago
Jelena Ostapenko and Ekaterina Alexandrova reach the final in Seoul
Latest news2 days ago
Lorenzo Sonego reaches the fifth ATP Tour final of his career with a win over Hubert Hurkacz