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HomeSportAustralia, Britain into Billie Jean King Cup semifinals; Canada beats Italy

Australia, Britain into Billie Jean King Cup semifinals; Canada beats Italy

Britain pulled off an unlikely 3-0 victory over Spain within the Billie Jean King Cup on Thursday to achieve the semifinals of the highest group occasion in ladies’s tennis for the primary time in 41 years.

Australia additionally reached the final 4 in Glasgow, however the story of the day was Britain’s exceptional comeback to win Group C — sealed by a victory by a rookie doubles pairing.

Alicia Barnett and Olivia Nicholls have been late call-ups following Emma Raducanu’s withdrawal and had not been in something remotely like this case earlier than. Nonetheless, they shrugged off the strain of a winner-takes-all doubles match in opposition to Aliona Bolsova and Rebeka Masarova to win 7-6 (5), 6-2.

That backed up earlier wins within the singles by Heather Watson and Harriet Dart over a lot higher-ranked opponents. Hart was in tears after gorgeous Thirteenth-ranked Paula Badosa in a 6-3, 6-4 victory, regardless of a rating hole of 85 locations.

“It’s so superior being right here in Britain and with the ability to host this occasion,” Dart mentioned. “I’m simply so completely satisfied to maintain this one alive.”

Within the first match, Watson was glorious in a 6-0, 6-2 win in opposition to Nuria Parrizas Diaz.

Britain arguably mustn’t even be within the 12-team match, having misplaced a qualifier to the Czech Republic in April. The group was given a wild-card entry when Britain stepped in to host the occasion on the Emirates Area and made probably the most of it by sweeping the five-time champion two days after a loss to Kazakhstan.

Earlier, Australia grew to become the primary nation to achieve the semifinals by beating Belgium 3-0 for a second group win.

Storm Sanders beat Alison van Uytvanck 6-2, 6-2 whereas Ajla Tomljanovic’s victory was sealed when her opponent, Elise Mertens, needed to retire due to a shoulder harm when trailing 4-6, 6-4, 3-0.

Australia, which additionally triumphed within the doubles, had already overwhelmed Slovakia on Tuesday in Group B.

Belgium performed its two matches earlier than the Czech Republic, who had two gamers on the WTA Finals final week, contested its first in Group D. That drew criticism from Belgium captain Johan Van Herck.

“We weren’t helped by the scenario,” he mentioned. “What occurred with Elise, I don’t assume it’s very appropriate. It had a big impact on what we needed to undergo right here, particularly Elise now with an harm.

“So it’s one thing the place I believe we, as a small nation, should pay a value for not being the Czech Republic that begins at this time or the US that may play within the night.”

The Czechs defeated Poland 2-1 and can play the US for a spot within the semifinals. It’s the identical state of affairs for Canada after beating Italy 3-0 in Group A to arrange a winner-takes-all match in opposition to Switzerland on Friday.

Bianca Andreescu defeated Elisabetta Cocciaretto 7-6 (3), 6-3. Leylah Fernandez defeated Martina Trevisan 6-0, 6-0.

Gabriela Dabrowski joined Fernandez to win the doubles for Canada 6-1, 6-1 in opposition to Jasmine Paolini and Lucia Bronzetti.

Switzerland beat Italy 3-0 within the group opener on Wednesday.

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