POLAND’S red-hot world number one Ia Śgwiątek did not drop a game in her Saturday singles match against Romania’s Andreea Prisacăriu, sending Poland through to November’s Billie Jean King Cup finals in decisive fashion.
Świątek, who put Poland up 2-0 on Friday by thrashing Mihaela Buzărnescu 6-1, 6-0 for an 18th straight win, continued her sizzling form, as the 20-year-old broke Prisacăriu six times in Radom, Poland.
Joining Poland in the finals will be the Czech Republic, Spain, Kazakhstan, Italy, Belgium, United States and Canada.
“I’m really proud. I was really working hard for that. Even though I didn’t play last year, I feel it’s been a long journey and it took us a few years to progress step by step and qualify for the finals,” Świątek said after her 6-0, 6-0 victory.
“It just shows what a strong team we are. Hopefully in the finals, we’re going to show even more progress and we’re going to succeed.”
Markéta Vondroušová and Karolína Muchová won the doubles decider for 11-time champions Czech Republic to clinch their finals berth with a 3-2 victory over Britain, beating Harriet Dart and Katie Swan 6-1, 7-5 in Prague.
In singles play, Vondroušová, the 2019 French Open runner-up, earlier picked apart Britain’s Emma Raducanu 6-1, 6-1 as the teenager struggled with blisters on her right foot before Dart leveled the tie at 2-2 with a 6-0, 5-7, 6-2 win over 16-year-old Linda Fruhvirtova of the Czech Republic.
Kazakhstan progressed at the expense of Germany with Elena Rybakina coming from a set down to get past three-times Grand Slam champion Angelique Kerber 4-6, 6-3, 7-5 in Nur-Sultan in Kazakhstan.
Four-time winner Italy advanced after Camila Giorgi secured the decisive point in their victory over France in Sardinia with a 6-2, 6-0 thrashing of Harmony Tan.
Spain will bid for a sixth title, despite missing Paula Badosa and Garbine Muguruza this weekend, after Sara Sorribes Tormo beat Arantxa Rus of the Netherlands 6-0, 6-4 to secure their passage to the finals.
UKRAINE FALLs SHORTThe United States squeezed through to the finals with a 3-2 home victory over Ukraine in Asheville, North Carolina, but only after receiving a mighty scare by the visitors from the war-torn nation.
Underdogs Dayana Yastremska and Katarina Zavatska won their respective singles matches in straight sets on Saturday but the United States ultimately prevailed in the doubles decider, won 7-6(5), 6-3 by Jessica Pegula and Asia Muhammad over Yastremska and Lyudmyla Kichenok.
In Vancouver, Canada confirmed their place in the finals by beating Latvia.
US Open runner-up Leylah Fernandez won her Saturday singles over Daniela Vismane 6-2, 6-1 to give the hosts an unassailable lead.
Belgium had an easy route to the finals, receiving a walkover with opponents Belarus being suspended from international team competitions following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
Belarus is a key staging area for the invasion, which Russia calls a “special operation.” — Reuters