Billie Jean King Cup wrap: Day 5 – Russia and Switzerland book finals spot

RUSSIA will take on Switzerland to decide the 2022 Billie Jean King Cup winner after both nations advanced to the final. Russia defeated USA 2-1, whilst Switzerland took care of Australia in the other semi-final. Missing Daria Kasatkina, the Russians pulled a surprise by handing Liudmila Samsonova a debut, and then despite being basically unranked in doubles, teamed up with Veronika Kudermetova against Shelby Rogers and Coco Vandeweghe. The United States kept its singles combination from last match going with Sloane Stephens and Danielle Collins sent in.

The surprise inclusion Samsonova went against Stephens in the first match, though it looked to be a huge boilover early. Despite heading in with a 2-0 win-loss record against the American, it was Stephens who blew away her opponent with a 6-1 first set. Looking in command to take the match rather quickly. Stephens remained consistent throughout, but it was Samsonova who cleaned up her act. She hit just two winners to 18 unforced errors in the first set, before evening that more out to be 16 an 23 respectively over the next two. It helped the Russian come from behind to win in three sets, 1-6 6-4 6-3 in an hour and 54 minutes. Both players broke four times, but Samsonova forced Stephens into making 44 forced errors really helping the cause.

The second match between Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova and Collins produced one of the best of the tournament thus far. Needing to remain alive, Collins pushed her high-ranked opponent all the way, but despite six breaks in the first two sets, the pair went to two tiebreakers and split them. The world number 12 took the first set 11-9 in the tiebreaker to move within one set of the Billie Jean King Cup final. Collins had other ideas however, taking the second set in a tiebreaker, 7-2 to level the scores. It as the third set here Collins stepped it up a notch, slamming home 15 winners to only four unforced errors, as Pavlyuchenkova was overpowered despite three and three, broken twice and not able to break back. The American hit a hopping 50 winners for 38 unforced errors all match, whilst Pavlyuchenova finished with 20 and 25 in a tight contest.

The deciding tie was a lot more straight forward, if not surprising. Despite Kudermetova being ranked so highly in the format – at number 11 in the world – Samsonova going up against Rogers and Vanderweghe was an interesting choice. It was a choice that paid off however, with the Russians victorious 6-3 6-3 in 73 minutes. Kudermetova and Samsonova hit 26 winners for only nine unforced errors. Both sides ere clean, as the American hit 14 winners for 12 unforced errors, but the Russians were more consistent. The winners on 69 and 72 per cent of their first and second serve points, compared to the Americans’ 50 and 58 per cent, to send their nation into the final.


Liudmila Samsonova (RUS) defeated Sloane Stephens (USA) 1-6 6-4 6-3
Danielle Collins (USA) defeated Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova (RUS) 6-7 7-6 6-2
V. Kudermetova/L. Samsonova (RUS) defeated S. Rogers/C. Vandeweghe (USA) 6-3 6-3


Switzerland did not have as much resistance against Australia, cruising through in a couple of hours on court with two straight sets wins. The pairing of Belinda Bencic and Jil Teichmann was too strong for the heroics of Ajla Tomljanovic and Storm Sanders, already leading the green and gold to an unlikely semi-final and automatic qualification next year. The Swiss pair dominated the two singles winning both in a combined time of just two hours and 11 minutes.

Up first as Teichmann taking on Sanders, with the latter coming in with great form, winning both her singles thus far including an upset victory over Elise Mertens. It as not to be this game as the rising Swiss star overpowered her in just 63 minutes. Teichmann won 6-0 6-3 and slammed home seven aces and on 79 per cent of her first serve points. She only hit the 13 winners, but had just 12 unforced errors – and 23 total errors – as Sanders hit eight winners and had 38 total errors. The first set as up there with the most one-sided of the year as Teichmann won 24 of a possible 27 points – losing just three for the match – and only one one return.

The second match was not much better, though Tomljanovic was able to put up more of a fight against the red-hot Bencic, going down in straight sets 6-3 6-3, in an hour and eight minutes. Bencic hit 18 winners to 10, with both players quite clean and reducing errors, with only 14 unforced errors to eight, though the Swiss forced the Australian into making more with 27 forced errors to eight. Overall, Bencic’s ability to win 77 per cent of her first serve points compared to Tomljanovic’s 60 per cent was the difference.

Due to the fact the tie as completed, the doubles was not required to determine a winner, and instead Switzerland has the chance to rest with the quicker turnaround before facing Russia tomorrow.


Jil Teichmann (SUI) defeated Storm Sanders (AUS) 6-0 6-3
Belinda Bencic (SUI) defeated Ajla Tomljanovic (AUS) 6-3 6-3


Picture credit: Paul Zimmer


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