2021 Billie Jean King Cup nation preview: Germany
THE WTA Tour’s most prestigious team event is less than a month away, and Draft Central is counting down the days until it kicks off by previewing each team individually. Starting with the lowest ranked nation through to the highest one, we take a look at each squad, their fixtures, and what they might be able to achieve at the event.
Captain: Rainer Schuettler
vs. Czech Republic | November 1
vs. Switzerland | November 2
Germany comes in with a fairly strong outfit, led by Grand Slam winner, Kerber. The European nation is ranked sixth in the world and are captained by the experienced Schuettler for the Billie Jean King Cup Finals. They qualified with a 4-0 sweep of Brazil, though in fairness to the South American nation, the going here will be much tougher against Czech Republic and Switzerland. There is every chance they finish last in the tough group, particularly with the other nations going full-strength too, and considering relative forms. Czech Republic in particular will always be tough to beat with the singles and doubles ability of the nation.
Coming in against one of the tournament favourites up first will throw Germany right in the deep end. A top two combination of Barbora Krejcikova and Marketa Vondrousova, followed by a world number one doubles duo of Krejcikova and Katerina Siniakova is a nightmare for anyone. With Laura Siegemund not playing, Germany’s top ranked doubles combination is Friedsam (94th) and Pekovic (134th), with one of them likely to play singles being comfortably higher rated than Niemeier and Schunk. The 15th ranked Kerber will naturally take the number one singles role, and unfortunately runs into two players who are ranked higher than her in Krejcikova and Bencic.
Overall, Germany will have an uphill battle against the two nations who have had different paths to this point in recent years. Czech Republic has always had a strong women’s team internationally, and now ranked first in doubles, and have a potent singles group. Switzerland with Bencic and Jil Teichmann are some of the most in-form players on the WTA Tour, and they will take it right up to them. As a whole, this group could be the most competitive of the lot, so expect some exciting tennis.
Prediction: 3rd in Group D
Picture credit: WTA/Jimmie48