Seville (Spain) – Czech female tennis players entered the final tournament of the Billie Jean King Cup victoriously. In Seville, the reigning champions beat the Swiss 3:0. Captain Petr Pála’s team went for the triumph in group A and advancement to the semi-finals. She will face the USA on Friday, while the Swiss will face the Americans on Thursday.
The first point was won by debutant Linda Nosková, who defeated Céline Naefová 7:6, 4:6, 6:4 after a reversal in the third set. The second one was also added by Marie Bouzková in her competition debut, who won the team singles match over Viktorija Golubicová twice 6:4. Barbora Krejčíková and Kateřina Siniaková rounded off a successful day in doubles, defeating Golubicová and Jil Teichmannová 7:6, 6:2.
“It was a perfect day. Considering that Bára and Katka arrived only last night and now won, it’s excellent. The other girls also succeeded in singles. It was simply perfect,” Pála told journalists.
In the singles, the Czechs coped even with the absence of Wimbledon champion Markéta Vondroušová, while the Swiss were missing the pregnant Belinda Bencicová. The Czech national team avenged their previous two defeats in the Billie Jean King Cup. The year before last, they lost to them in the basic group, last year they lost in the semi-finals. They beat them for the fourth time in seven games in individual history.
Bouzková, who replaced the injured Karolína Muchová in the national team, erased a break point deficit twice in the opening set against Golubicová and won three games in a row from 3:4. In the second set, both players held serve until the end. In the decisive tenth game, the native of Prague earned her first match point on her opponent’s serve, which she used after an hour and 46 minutes of play.
“It’s a great feeling to win the second point like that. I wanted to follow up on Linda and also win it. I started more nervously, but I returned to my game. The atmosphere was great,” said Bouzková. “I don’t even know where it broke. The match was even until the end. It was very difficult to finish. She also doesn’t want to give anything for free. It only broke with a match point,” added Bouzková.
Nosková defeated Naefová in the debutant match despite losing 1:4 in the decisive third set. But she won the next games and dominated the match in two hours and 33 minutes.
“I’m a little tired. It was the first match in a long time, but after a victory you always feel good mentally, so I don’t even feel tired. I’m especially happy that I got the first point,” Nosková said. “It was definitely a match that will stay in my head. In time, I won’t remember if I played well or badly, but that I won. That’s always nice,” she added.
Nosková led in the first set 3:0 and 4:1, but Naefová still equalized and it was decided in a shortened game. The Czech tennis player took a 4:1 lead thanks to four straight fifteens and won the shortened game 7:2. The technical difficulties didn’t change anything either, because of which it wasn’t clear in the hall for a few minutes whether the ball during Nosková’s set ball ended up on the court or outside it.
In the second set, Nosková did not use three break points and both players held serve until the end. The end was better this time for Naef, who took the Czech tennis player’s serve and the whole set with it in the tenth game.
At the beginning of the third set, Nosková averted four break points at 0:1, but in the fourth game, the next attack of the 139th player in the world, Naefová, did not stop and she was already losing 1:4. Even this situation did not break Nosková. She refined the game and turned the duel around. She was 100 percent from the sixth game and reversed the development with five games in a row. Not even the ten aces she gave in the match helped Naef.
“I’ve experienced situations like that before. Or even 2:5 in the third set. I told myself that it’s still just one break, and if I serve well and break her serve once, it won’t be a problem. I knew it was still possible to turn the match around,” Nosková added.
Billie Jean King Cup Final Tournament:
Czech Republic – Switzerland 3:0
Noskova – Naefova 7:6 (7:2), 4:6, 6:4, Bouzkova – Golubicová 6:4, 6:4, Krejčíková, Siniaková – Golubicová, Teichmannová 7:6 (7:3), 6:2.
Slovenia – Australia 2:1
Juvanová – Tomljanovicová 6:4, 6:1, Zidanšeková – Savilleová 6:1, 6:4, Erjavecová, Miličová – Birrellová, Hunterová 5:7, 7:6 (7:2), 5:10.
Sport CR tennis Kingová Pála