DIRECT FROM SEVILLE | The future visited the present. From nearby Córdoba, where the junior Billie Jean King Cup under sixteen takes place, the teams went to greet their adult role models in Seville for the real BJK Cup. Markéta Vondroušová and spol. so they welcomed young ladies from the Czech Republic who look up to them in the dressing room. Very informal. Laura Samsonová, Eliška Forejtková and Alena Kovačková played cards with the trio and then took them to the stadium and for lunch.
“I didn’t expect that they would have fun with us like this,” said a pleasantly surprised Samsonov, the biggest star of the entire youth tournament. Although she is only fifteen, she is ranked sixth in the under-18 junior ranking and is the best in the world in her year.
The Czech Republic has won the junior BJK Cup five times and this year is one of the favorites. This was confirmed by advancing from the group to the quarterfinals. Maybe even one of that trio will one day appear in the Czech adult selection. For example, Wimbledon champion and current Czech No. 1 Vondroušová traveled such a path. “We also won the junior Fed Cup, it was in Madrid and I have only good memories of it. We were a great group and we are still in touch with the girls,” she recalled.
“I would also like to play for adults one day,” said Samsonová, who did not personally know any of the members of the adult selection. It was Eliška Forejtková, the younger sister of Davis Cup representative Jonáš, who met Vondroušová in Štvanice and helped break the ice. “Then we all got to know each other, which was great,” recounted Samsonová, who had previously had a half-hour talk with Billie Jean King with her teammates and other junior teams.
Organizationally, the event creaked a bit. Instead of the promised lunch from the ITF, the young athletes received only a baguette. “Which wasn’t very good yet. So our girls took us to lunch at the stadium. We were very happy to be able to chat with them and have a meal,” thanked David Škoch, the captain of the youth team.
As the two teams parted, they wished each other good luck. The juniors face the strong Japanese women in the quarter-finals on Friday, their adult role models a key clash for the semi-finals with the USA.