Billie Jean King and Official Referee Jane Harvey conducted the draw for the 2022 Billie Jean King Cup by BNP Paribas Finals on the BBC’s Morning Live show on Friday.
The women’s team competition will be held at the Emirates Arena in Glasgow from 8-13 November when 12 nations will compete for honours., playing in 4 round robin groups of 3, with the 4 winners advancing to the semi-finals, where the winner of Group A will face the winner of Group D and the winner of Group B to play the winner of Group C.
Former champions Czech Republic and the United States have been pooled alongside Poland in Group D, the proverbial ‘Group of Death’, which will see the fiercest of battles to progress to the knock-out stage when the 2022 Finals kick off.
Czech Republic, seeded 4th for the draw, have won the title 6 times in the last 10 editions of Billie Jean King Cup, and can count on fielding a host of players inside the Top 100.
Petr Pala’s team are drawn against the most decorated team in the history of the competition, USA, who currently have 11 players ranked in the Top 100
Between them, Czech Republic and USA have almost 20 per cent of the Top 100 but neither country can claim the World No 1, Iga Swiatek who will have to be at her brilliant best if she is to steer Poland out of perilous Group D.
Top seeds Switzerland, who finished runners-up in 2021, find themselves in Group A alongside Canada and Italy.
Group B sees Australia, Slovakia and Belgium go head-to-head, while hosts Great Britain have been drawn in Group C with Spain and Kazakhstan.
Spain’s top-ranked player is the World No 4 Paula Badosa, while Kazakhstan could include Wimbledon finalist Elena Rybakina.
Defending champions Russia will not feature in this year’s Finals after the ITF banned them from team competitions over the country’s invasion of Ukraine, which Moscow calls a ‘special military operation’.
Russian players were also barred from this year’s Wimbledon but have been allowed to compete in other tournaments under a neutral flag.
The Finals come to Britain in a year when the LTA is placing a special focus on driving the visibility of women and girls tennis.
Whilst tennis has always been a pioneer for women’s sport there remains a visibility gap that hosting major events like the BJK Cup can help close.
The LTA hopes that by bringing events like this to Great Britain it can inspire women and girls to take up the sport, increase female representation in tennis, and drive greater visibility of women’s tennis reflective of its status as a leading women’s sport.
Great Britain qualified as hosts after Glasgow was chosen to stage the 12-team event.
Anne Keothavong’s team had initially been set to miss out on the women’s World Cup of tennis after defeat by the Czech Republic in a qualifier in April.
In March, Glasgow was named as one of the 4 host nations for the group stages of the Davis Cup Finals, the men’s equivalent of the Billie Jean King Cup.
The Scottish city has hosted several Davis Cup ties, including two in 2015 when Great Britain went on to win the title.
It is the first time since 1991 that the finals of the premier team competition in international women’s tennis – previously known as the Fed Cup – have been played in Britain.