Seville – Tennis legend Billie Jean King is looking forward to the next year of the final tournament bearing her name and is also looking forward to the clash between the Czech team and the USA in the basic group A. Together with them, they will fight next week in Seville for one promotion place of the reigning Swiss champion, and King video interview with the world’s media, she did not dare to guess how everything would end. She also regretted the absence of some stars and wants to discuss changes in the calendar so that next time there are no date conflicts with other tournaments.
“The American women won the competition eighteen times, the Czech women won it eleven times,” King said, referring to the fact that both countries are among the most successful in history. “The Swiss women lost in the final the year before last, and last year they finally made it. They were excited. They like to play for the national team,” added the 79-year-old native of California.
The Czechs will face the Americans in the basic group for the second time in a row. Last year, thanks to the triumphs of Markéta Vondroušová over Danielle Collins and Kateřina Siniaková over Cori Gauffová, they won 2-0 in Glasgow. Their match will take place on November 10, the last in Group A. The Czechs will enter the tournament on November 7 against the Swiss, the Americans will challenge the same opponents two days later.
“Some people are good at team sports and some people are good at playing for themselves. And you can see that in the Billie Jean King Cup or the Davis Cup,” King said. “You see who goes a little higher when they play for their country or their teammates. It’s amazing. Someone improves in the moment, someone else can’t handle the pressure and goes down. You never know how it will end. That aspect is very important and we’ll see how it turns out,” added King.
The selection of captain Petr Pála has to do without the injured Roland Garros finalist Karolína Muchová, who was replaced by Marie Bouzková. Number one will be Wimbledon champion Markéta Vondroušová, Barbora Krejčíková, Kateřina Siniaková and Linda Nosková will also be there.
The composition of the Czech team was also appreciated by the tournament director Conchita Martínezová. “It’s great that Vondroušová and Krejčíková will arrive. Even after such a long season, they will fight for their country. They always have a good team full of amazing players. It’s also a great example for others,” said Martínezová.
On the contrary, the American women have to do without Gauff or Jessica Pegula. World No. 2 Pole Iga Šwiateková also apologized for the scheduling conflict. The final tournament for the Billie Jean King Cup starts again right after the end of the Tournament of Champions. The competition for the best female players of the season will culminate in Cancun, Mexico, on November 7, and the team competition will begin in Seville two days later.
Ten-time Fed Cup winner Kingová wants to avoid similar complications in the future. “We all have to sit down and come up with a better calendar. It’s about everyone knowing what’s going to happen, because you can’t make decisions like that about the Tournament of Champions in October or September. They have to know in advance. That’s the only way it’s fair.” King said. “I would like us to sit down and come up with something from which we would all come out as winners,” added the American icon.
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