USA thwarts Ukraine march to final with Poland, Czech Republic

The United States were the last to secure their place in the final on a day when world number one Poland Iga Swiatek beat 324th seed Andrea Brisacario of Romania 6:0 6:0 in 45 minutes and sealed victory for the visitors at Radom.

Ukraine narrowly cruised on Saturday in a thrilling bid to return, losing 3:2 to the United States, who secured a place in the Billie Jean King Cup final.

Ukraine, leading 0-0 on the day, picked up singles wins over Dayana Yastremska and Katerina Zavatska and equalized ahead of Asya Muhammedova and Jessica Pegolaova, beating Yastremska and Lyudmila Kishinok in double lock 7:6 (7/5). 6-3. .

The final culminated in an emotional week in Asheville, North Carolina, as the Ukrainian players admitted that it was difficult to focus on the task ahead of them, amid concerns about family and friends at home during the ongoing Russian invasion.

“I’ve always loved representing my country, but now, at this moment, it’s hard to explain,” Yastremska said after her 6-3 6-4 win over Pegula. “My heart remains at home, but my mind is here.”

Ukraine had at least some time to celebrate, including Zavatska’s 201-ranked 6:3, 6:4 win over 46th seed Shelby Rogers, who equalized for a 2:2 draw.

“I was in the zone,” said Zavatska in a trance after her first career win over the top 50 players.

The United States were the last to secure their place in the final on a day when world number one Poland Iga Swiatek beat 324th seed Andrea Brisacario of Romania 6:0 6:0 in 45 minutes and sealed victory for the visitors at Radom.

“He’s really proud of us,” said Swiatek, who lost just one singles game over the weekend.

“It was a long journey. It took us several years, step by step, before we progressed and finally qualified.”

Poland hopes to improve on its best form in the competition in the November final – the 1992 quarter-finals.

In Prague, the Czechs beat England in the key doubles competition, Karolina Mochová and Markéta Vondrošová beat Harriet Dart and Katie Swan 6:1, 7:5.

Vondrošová beat US Open champion Emma Radočanová 6-1 6-1 and secured the hosts’ lead in her first reverse singles.

“The result looked simple, but it was a difficult match and he was a little injured,” said Vondrosova.

Raducano brought England back in his first professional clay match on Friday with a tough win over Tereza Martínková, but he struggled on Saturday.

“My feet are blistered, they appeared after yesterday’s game for some reason,” he said. BBC. “It really prevented me from moving, it was hard not to catch the ball.”

Dart then raised England’s level despite some tense moments as she beat 16-year-old Linda Frohvert 6-0, 5-7, 6-2.

Kazakhstan qualify

Elena Rybakina snatched Kazakhstan’s victory over Germany with a 4-6, 6-3, 7-5 win over Angelique Kerber in Nur-Sultan and sent her country into the final for the first time.

In Sardinia, Camila Giorgio won 12 games in a row, beating France’s Harmony Tan 6-2, 6-0, giving Italy a 3-0 lead.

Tan, who is ranked 107th in the world, favored 34th seed Aliza Cornet and jumped to take a 2-0 lead before Giorgi took complete control.

“I’m happy it was a great game,” said Giorgi. “It was a bit complicated at first, then I improved my game.”

Since winning their third tournament in 2019, France have lost all three of their matches.

Spain were the only team to win away, as Sarah Soribes Tormo managed to secure her place in the final by beating Arantex Ross 6-0, 6-4 at S-Hertogenbosch in the Netherlands.

Canada completed their 3-0 win over Latvia with Leila Fernandez 6-2 6-1 over Daniela Vismani in Vancouver.

Qualifiers will join finals in Switzerland, Australia, Belgium and Slovakia later this year.

Due to the invasion of Ukraine, the defending champions Russia and Belarus were excluded from the competition.

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Britney Kirk

"Infuriatingly humble coffee guru. Travel practitioner. Freelance zombie fanatic. Certified problem solver. Food scholar. Student."

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