Glasgow | BJK Cup Preview: Strong line-up for women’s World Cup of Tennis

The Billie Jean King Cup Finals Finals by Gainbridge will take place at Glasgow’s Emirates Arena next week, from 8-13 November, hosted by Great Britain with 11 other national teams taking part in the women’s team competition.

I would have liked her [Iga Swiatek] to wait a little longer [to decide], because you never know how you're going to do. I mean, you just don't know. And this is where you have to figure out for yourself what's important to you. For me, this would be a no-brainer. Billie Jean King

BBC Sport and BT Sport will offer comprehensive broadcast coverage to audiences in the UK, with all of Great Britain’s matches broadcast on the BBC Sport website and iPlayer, as well as BT Sport televising every single tie starting on Tuesday, and ending on Sunday.

“We are delighted that BBC Sport and BT Sport will broadcast the Billie Jean King Cup Finals,” said Richard Daish, the LTA’s Marketing and Commercial Director. “To have the world’s best players coming to Britain for such a prestigious tournament offers a wonderful platform to promote our sport and maximise visibility.

“Hopefully the images that will be going into homes across the UK will inspire some girls and boys to pick up a racket for the first time.”

Tuesday’s opening GB tie against Kazakhstan will also be available via the BBC’s Red Button, and will feature Harriet Dart, Katie Boulter, Heather Watson, Alicia Barnett and Olivia Nicholls in action against Elena Rybakina, Yulia Putintseva, Zhibek Kulambayeva and Anna Dalinina.

Played in Great Britain for the first time since 1991, when the Federation Cup was held in Nottingham, the BJK Cup Finals will see a host of top players taking part, including Grand Slam champions Barbora Krejcikova (CZE), Bianca Andreescu (CAN) and Elena Rybakina (KAZ), while also set to appear include Paula Badosa (ESP), Olympic champion Belinda Bencic (SUI), Leylah Fernandez (CAN), Coco Gauff (USA), Jessica Pegula (USA), and Karolina Pliskova (CZE) amongst others.

Notably absent, though, are World No 1 Iga Swiatek and British No 1 Emma Raducanu.

The 19-year old from Bromley is looking ‘fit and strong; despite a wrist injury keeping her out of the Great Britain team for the Finals in Glasgow.

Having called an early halt to her WTA Tour season after picking up the problem in October, Raducanu had hoped to be fit to lead Anne Keothavong’s team in Scotland, but she admitted defeat last week, dealing a blow to the British team’s hopes in what was already a tough assignment.

“Right now, from what I understand, it’s something she will recover from – and she’s confident of that,” Keothavong told BBC Sport earlier this week. “She just needs a bit more time and Billie Jean King Cup is too soon.

“Wrist injuries are never easy, but I think this one is under control. She’s got good people around her, and she’s used her time to really work on other areas of her fitness.”

Ahead of her return, Raducanu has been training with Andy Murray’s former physical trainer Jez Green at the National Tennis Centre in Roehampton, but is staying away from the practice court for the time being.

“She’s been putting a lot of physical effort in at the gym, and I think she will be a stronger player come next year,” Keothavong added. “She did everything she could have done to be fit, but it just wasn’t going to happen.”

Iga Swiatek has opted out of representing Poland because of the short gap between the WTA Finals in Fort Worth this week and the BJK Cup Finals in Glasgow starting on Tuesday

© Tom Pennington/Getty Images

Swiatek, the 21-year-old from Poland with 3 Grand Slam titles already to her name, announced last month that she would play in the WTA Finals, which are happening now in Fort Worth, Texas, but will skip the ITF’s Billie Jean King Cup Finals.

She complained the ‘situation is not safe for our health and could cause injury’, adding she was disappointed that the sport’s governing bodies ‘didn’t come to an agreement on something as basic as the calendar of tournaments’.

“This is a very tough schedule and a tough turn-around,” WTA CEO Steve Simon said, acknowledging on Tuesday that Swiatek is ‘not wrong’. “It’s something that we’re already talking about to see how we can fix that in the future.”

Billie Jean King, after whom the competition was recently renamed, said this week that she feared Swiatek’s decision was premature.

“I can totally understand her reasoning,” King said in Fort Worth. “I personally wouldn’t agree with it.

“But you know what? It’s about her. She’s the one that’s having to deal with reality now; I don’t. We’ll miss her.”

Swiatek, who leads the WTA Tour with 8 titles and a 64-8 record in 2022, has been a stalwart representing Poland and was both disappointed and irritated at having to sit out the BJK Cup this year.

“I would have liked her to wait a little longer [to decide], because you never know how you’re going to do,” added King. “I mean, you just don’t know. And this is where you have to figure out for yourself what’s important to you. For me, this would be a no-brainer.”

The WTA Finals were supposed to be held in Shenzhen, China, but were moved as part of the suspension of WTA tournaments in that country because of concerns about the safety of Peng Shuai, a Grand Slam doubles champion who accused a former Chinese government official of sexual assault, as well as current COVID-19 restrictions there.

The selection of Fort Worth as a substitute site for just this year was announced in September.

Simon admitted he would have preferred that the WTA Finals end on an earlier date, but the Texas arena had a concert scheduled last week that prevented access to the venue before Friday for setup which included the installation of a temporary court.

Two members of Team USA in Glasgow are Jessica Pegula, the World No 3, and Coco Gauff, ranked 4, who are competing in both the singles and doubles in Texas.

“We definitely knew [it] was a tough turn-around,” Pegula said. “But, I think, for me, it’s more of just a good problem to have.

“Of course, it’s not ideal. Everyone makes their own kind of personal decision as far as [what is] physically healthy, mentally-wise what they need to do, but hopefully, it’s just for this year.”

The 12 teams that have qualified for Glasgow are as follows:

  • Switzerland – as 2021 runner-up
  • Australia – as highest-ranked 2021 semi-finalist, they took the place of the suspended 2021 champions Russian Tennis Federation
  • Slovakia – received a bye in the Qualifiers as they were due to play Australia
  • Belgium – defeated Belarus by walkover after the Belarusian Tennis Federation was suspended from international team competitions
  • Canada, Czech Republic, Italy, Kazakhstan, Poland, Spain and USA – Qualifier winners
  • Great Britain – The host nation

The teams will compete in 4 groups of 3 nations over the first 4 days of the Finals, before the 4 group winners contest the semi-finals on Saturday 12 November.

The 2022 Billie Jean King Cup final will then take place on Sunday 13 November, when the winners will be crowned champions of the women’s World Cup of Tennis.

For the very first time, each member of the winning team will also be awarded with special ‘Billie Blue’ jackets designed by Tory Burch, as part of a new partnership announced with the fashion label in June this year.

Similar to the famous green jacket awarded to the men’s winner of the Masters golf tournament, it will be the most-coveted jacket in women’s sports, created to inspire women and girls everywhere.

The jacket is expected to be revealed in early November ahead of the Finals.

Tickets for the Billie Jean King Cup start from £5 for children and £10 for adults. For further information Click HERE

Team Russia, last year's champions, are not defending their title as they are excluded alongside Belarus from competing because of the war in Ukraine

© Michal Cizek/AFP via Getty Images

The Team Nominations

(subject to change)

Group A :

Switzerland: Belinda Bencic, Jil Teichmann, Viktorija Golubic and Simona Waltert, with Captain Heinz Guenthardt

Canada: Leylah Fernandez, Bianca Andreescu, Rebecca Marino, Carol Zhao, and Gabriela Dabrowski, with Captain Sylvain Bruneau

Italy: Martina Trevisan, Camila Giorgi, Lucia Bronzetti, Jasmine Paolini and Elisabetta Cocciaretto, with Captain Tathiana Garbin

Group B

Australia: Ajla Tomljanovic, Priscilla Hon, Storm Sanders, Ellen Perez and Samantha Stosur, with Captain Alicia Molik

Slovakia: Anna Karolina Schmiedlova, Viktoria Kuzmova, Rebecca Sramkova, Tereza Mihalikova and Renata Jamrichova, with Captain Matej Liptak

Belgium: Elise Mertens, Alison van Uytvanck, Maryna Zanevska, Ysaline Bonaventure and Kirsten Flipkens, with Captain Johan van Herck

Group C

Spain: Paula Badosa, Nuria Parrizas-Diaz, Cristina Bucsa, Aliona Bolsova and Rebeka Masarova, with Captain Anabel Medina Garrigues

Kazakhstan: Elena Rybakina, Yulia Putintseva, Zhibek Kulambayeva and Anna Dalinina, with Captain Yaroslava Shvedova

Great Britain: Harriet Dart, Katie Boulter, Heather Watson, Alicia Barnett and Olivia Nicholls, with Captain Anne Keothavong

Group D

Czech Republic: Barbora Krejcikova, Karolina Pliskova, Katerina Siniakova and Marketa Vondrousova, with Captain Petr Pala

USA: Jessica Pegula, Coco Gauff, Madison Keys, Danielle Collins and Taylor Townsend, with Captain Kathy Rinaldi

Poland: Magda Linette, Magdalena Frech, Katarzyna Kawa, Martyna Kukba and Alicja Rosolska, with Captain Dawid Celt



Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Social Media Auto Publish Powered By :