Czech Republic wins doubles to beat United States 2-1 and reach Billie Jean King Cup semifinals

Barbora Krejcikova and Katerina Siniakova secured a spot in the semifinals of the Billie Jean King Cup by defeating American duo Danielle Collins and Taylor Townsend 6-3, 7-5 in their decisive doubles match on Friday in Seville, Spain.

Siniakova and Krejcikova launched a successful comeback against the U.S. team on the indoor hard court in Seville, propelling them to the next round and eliminating the Americans. The Czech Republic is set to face Canada in Saturday’s semifinals, while Italy will go up against Slovenia in the other semifinal match, also on the indoor hard court in Seville.

“The U.S. were there, just waiting for the winning moment,” said Czech captain Petr Pala. “It got to the wire and it could have gone either way, but we have a world-class doubles team.”

Krejcikova, the 2021 French Open champion who has seven major doubles titles including this year’s Australian Open paired with Siniakova, displayed their champion pedigree in a dominant performance, converting six of eight break points.

“I was very happy when we sealed the winning point today,” Siniakova said, expressing her satisfaction with their performance. “I wouldn’t say our partnership is natural. You just need to work hard and we both like practicing and trying to improve ourselves, which is a big part.”

Siniakova suffered a loss against Collins earlier in the day but Wimbledon champion Marketa Vondrousova leveled the score at 1-1 for the Czechs after defeating Sofia Kenin.

Krejcikova and Siniakova’s win capped off the final appearance for U.S. captain Kathy Rinaldi as they clinched a spot in the semifinals of the Billie Jean King Cup.

The Czechs have maintained their winning record against the Americans after securing a victory in their last three meetings.

The U.S. was missing their top two players, Coco Gauff and Jessica Pegula, who were playing in the WTA finals in Mexico. Despite this, the U.S. beat defending champion Switzerland in their group-phase opener on Thursday.

Canada secured their spot in the semifinals by winning their two matches over Spain and Poland in Group C earlier in the week.

On the other hand, Slovenia, despite losing 2-1 to Kazakhstan, reached the semifinals for the first time. They finished atop Group B due to the best sets win-loss record, securing their spot in the next round.

“It’s pretty unbelievable that we’re here,” said Slovenia’s Kaja Kuvan, expressing her surprise and excitement. “I don’t think any of us dreamed of the semifinal.”

In other results, France beat Germany 3-0 in their match, both teams had already been eliminated in group D. Winner Italy advanced after beating both rivals earlier in the week.


AP tennis:


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