2021 Billie Jean King Cup nation preview: Spain
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: Annabel Mendina Garrigues
vs. Slovakia | November 1
vs. USA | November 3
One of the genuine title contenders, the ninth ranked nation in the tournament might well surprise a few teams, as Spain has loaded up on talent for the Billie Jean King Cup Finals. Seeded second in their group, Spain might be a dark horse, with the United States being the real danger, though they should take care of Slovakia. Led by top 10 talent Muguruza, there is every possibility that Spain makes it out of the Group stage, though the question will be on the depth with both Jessica Pegula and Danielle Collins stronger than Badosa and Sorribes Tormo, as is Sloane Stephens on her day.
Still, the Spanish duo of Badosa and Sorribes Tormo are ranked inside the Top 40 for a reason, and the latter defeated Ash Barty at the Tokyo Olympics, showing how well she can play at her best. Spain need to collect both singles wins, because in the doubles, just Sorribes Tormo (68th) is ranked inside the Top 200. By comparison both Pegula and Caroline Dolehide are ranked inside the Top 40. The tie with Slovakia should be over before it gets to the doubles, though they would not want to rely on it either, with the doubles combination there also higher than the Spanish duo.
Overall, Spain is a team that is capable of doing some damage on their day, and they could well go deep in the tournament. With the players competing at the Billie Jean King Cup Finals, only Barbora Krejcikova is ranked higher than Muguruza, and the extra day’s break before taking on the United States for the second tie will help, with the USA having to play Slovakia the day before. If Spain can play at their best, they can knock off the US, but more likely they just miss out and finish second.
Prediction: 2nd in Group C
Picture credit: Zimbio