Tennis-Swiatek sends Poland to BJK Cup final, Italy and Spain advance

April 16 (Reuters) – Polish world number one Iga Swiatek handed Romania’s Andreea Prisacariu a double bagel en route to victory in their Billie Jean King Cup qualifier on Saturday, earning a 3-0 victory in the tie and a place in the November final for the first time.

Swiatek, who led her country 2-0 on Friday’s opening matchday beating Mihaela Buzarnescu 6-1 6-0 for an 18th straight win, continued to stamp her authority on the draw as the 20-year-old years beat Prisacariu six times in Radom, Poland.

“I’m really proud. I really worked hard for it. Even though I didn’t play last year, I think it’s been a long journey and it took us a few years to progress step by step and qualify for the final,” Swiatek said after their 6-0 6-0 victory.

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“It shows what a solid team we are. Hopefully we will show even more progress in the final and we will be successful.”

Joining Poland in the final is Kazakhstan, who beat the German visitors 3-0 with Elena Rybakina coming from a set down to beat three-time Grand Slam champion Angelique Kerber 4-6 6-3 7-5 in Nur-Sultan .

Harriet Dart kept Britain’s hopes alive against the Czech Republic by leveling at 2-2, claiming her first singles victory in the competition with a 6-0 5-7 6-2 win over 16-year-old Linda Fruhvirtova.

Dart, 25, looked headed for victory in the second set before Fruhvirtova saved two match points but dug deep to bring the tie to a doubles decider.

Earlier, British US Open champion Emma Raducanu lost 6-1 6-1 to 2019 French Open finalist Marketa Vondrousova in Prague after struggling with blisters on her right foot.

“I really think I gave my team a little heart attack,” Dart said. “It’s natural that I was a little nervous trying to close it.

“Linda is a great player…She fought really hard and I’m really happy to have made it.”

Four-time winners Italy also advanced after Camila Giorgi, who had given her country a 2-0 lead on Friday, secured the decisive point in their win over France in Sardinia with a 6-2 6-1 thrashing. 0 from Harmony Tan.

Spain will seek a sixth title, despite the absence of 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 final .

Canada, led by US Open finalist Leylah Fernandez, and the United States are also in prime position to advance with a 2-0 lead before resuming their matches against Latvia and Ukraine respectively later on Saturday. .

Belgium are already in the final after receiving a surprise as their opponents Belarus were suspended from international team competitions following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Belarus is a key stage for the invasion, which Russia calls a “special operation”.

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Reporting by Shrivathsa Sridhar and Hritika Sharma in Bengaluru; Editing by Ken Ferris

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