Making their first semi-final appearance in over 40 years in the Billie Jean King Cup, Great Britain will be upbeat going into their match against a solid Australian side.

Great Britain

Great Britain pulled off a huge upset by defeating the strong Spanish side in the final group encounter. Heather Watson completely outplayed Nuria Parrizas Diaz 6-2, 6-0 in the opening rubber to get her side off to a great start. No. 98 Harriet Dart managed to pull off the biggest upset of the day with a win over No. 14 Paula Badosa in straight sets 6-3, 6-4. This was Dart’s third win against a Top 20 player in 2022.

With this win, Great Britain had already won the tie but after their 2-1 loss to Kazakhstan on the opening day, the team from Europe could advance only if they secured a whitewash over Spain. Alicia Barnett and Olivia Nicholls had the responsibility of seeing their team through to the semis. They faced Aliona Bolsova and Rebeka Masarova in a doubles clash. The duo from Great Britain managed to do the needful as they won the match 7-6 (7-5), 6-2.

Australia

The Aussie side has been ably led by Ajla Tomljanovic. They have managed to reach the semifinals at the Billie Jean King Cup for the second consecutive year. They defeated Belgium in their last group game and topped Group B. The team from Down Under had won their first encounter against Slovakia 2-1 as Storm Sanders defeated Viktoria Kuzmova 6-4, 6-3 and Ajla Tomljanovic beat Anna Karolina Schmiedlova 6-1, 6-2.

Against Belgium, Australia managed to win all three rubbers to keep a clean slate in the group. Storm Sanders picked up another impressive win in the competition as she defeated Alison van Uytvanck 6-2, 6-2. The Belgian is ranked 183 places above Sanders but that did not count for much as the Aussie athlete was at her very best. Ajla Tomljanovic had a tough outing against Elise Mertens. The two experienced players gave it their all and both won a set apiece. In the third set, Mertens was trailing 3-0 when she was forced to retire with a shoulder injury. Sanders produced another fine display when she teamed up with San Stosur to get the better of Ysaline Bonaventure and Kirsten Flipkens 6-4, 6-3.

Some interesting facts about Great Britain

  • This will be Great Britain’s first semifinal appearance in over 40 years as they made it to this last-4 stage of the competition for the last time in 1981.
  • World No. 98 Harriet Dart replaced the former US Open champion Emma Raducanu on the side. The Bromley-born Raducanu had to pull out after suffering an injury.
  • Great Britain is one of only four nations to have competed in every single edition of the Billie Jean King Cup (previously known as the Fed Cup) since its inception.

Some interesting facts about Team Australia

  • The Australian team is seeking its third appearance in the final of the Billie Jean King Cup in the past 30 years. They finished runner-up in the 1993 and 2019 editions of the World Cup of women’s tennis.
  • The last time Australia won the Billie Jean King Cup was way back in 1974. Evonne Goolagong Cawley spearheaded the team back then.
  • This is Australia’s third consecutive semifinal appearance in the competition. This feat was last achieved in 1982.

Prediction

Australia will go into the match as the favorites. They are unbeaten so far in the competition. However, count Great Britain out at your own peril as they will be high on confidence and self-belief after producing one of their finest results in recent years against a strong Spanish contingent.

Prediction: Australia to win 2-1.

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