Vondrousova pulls Czechs level 1-1 with United States at Billie Jean King Cup Finals


SEVILLE, Spain (AP) — Wimbledon champion Marketa Vondrousova pulled the Czech Republic level at 1-1 with the United States to send their Billie Jean King Cup Finals group-stage meeting to a decisive doubles match on Friday.

The seventh-ranked Vondrousova brushed aside Sofia Kenin 6-1, 6-1 in the second singles match after Danielle Collins gave the U.S. the lead by beating Katerina Siniakova 6-3, 6-2.

The winner will advance as the top team in Group A and play Canada in the semifinals on Saturday. Italy will face Slovenia in the other semifinal on the indoor hard court in Seville.

Vondrousova hit five aces and broke Kenin’s serve six times in the lopsided match.

Collins broke Siniakova three times, with her opponent double-faulting five times.

These are the the two most successful teams in the competition’s history — the U.S. has the most titles with 18 and the Czechs the second most with 11.

The Czechs have won their last two meetings with the Americans.

The U.S. beat defending champion Switzerland in their group-phase opener on Thursday.

The Americans are without their two highest-ranked players. No. 3 Coco Gauff and No. 5 Jessica Pegula both played in the WTA finals in Mexico, which finished just before the Billie Jean King Cup Finals.

Canada advanced by winning its two matches over Spain and Poland in Group C earlier this week.

Slovenia made it to the semifinals for the first time despite losing 2-1 to Kazakhstan.

Slovenia finished atop Group B thanks to the best sets win-loss record of the three teams after Slovenia, Kazakhstan and Australia all finished with a 1-1 record and with three match victories each.

“It’s pretty unbelievable that we’re here,” said Slovenia’s Kaja Kuvan, whose 6-1, 6-0 win over Anna Danilina helped send her team through. “I don’t think any of us dreamed of the semifinal.”

France beat Germany 3-0 with both having already been eliminated in group D, where winner Italy advanced after beating both rivals earlier this week.

France’s Clara Burel beat Laura Siegemund 6-4, 6-3, while Germany’s Tatjana Maria had to retire from her match against Varvara Gracheva.


AP tennis: https://apnews.com/hub/tennis

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