Billie Jean King Cup Final: British ‘starting points’ inspired by past experiences in Glasgow.


Captain Anne Keothavong (far right) admits her Great Britain team are underdogs in their bid to progress from their group in Glasgow.
Place: Emirates Arena, Glasgow Dates: November 8-13
Coverage: Live TV coverage of Great Britain matches and semi-finals and finals on the BBC Red Button, BBC iPlayer and BBC Sport website and app, live commentary and match reports on the website and app.

Great Britain are drawing on past success, as well as good coffee and humor, to inspire them as they look to overcome their underdogs in this week’s Billie Jean King Cup semi-finals in Glasgow.

Without injured Emma Raducanu, Anne Keothavong’s team — which qualified only as hosts — is weakened in the 12-team women’s tennis World Cup starting on Tuesday.

But they’re not the only ones without their best player — Polish world number one Iga Swiatek and American number three Jessica Pegula are absent, and other top players are missing because their countries didn’t qualify or are banned, leaving just five in the world. the 20 best players of the tournament.

There are four groups of three teams, with only the winning teams advancing to Saturday’s semi-finals.

Great Britain open their Group C campaign against Kazakhstan on Tuesday (no earlier than 16:00 GMT) before taking on Spain on Thursday.

And memories of the jubilant scenes three years ago, when Great Britain beat Kazakhstan in London, are giving the team confidence this time around, particularly for Katie Boulter, who came from a set and a break to seal that victory, however hot it must have been. water bottle when making changes to the injured back.

“It’s already giving me a pretty good vibe and hopefully we can bring them in and use that experience,” he said at a news conference on Monday. “I’m pretty excited to move forward and hopefully we can do the same thing we did back then.

“It was something that was pretty special for me … and I hope I can do something like that again.”

Before Great Britain pulls off an upset, here’s what you need to know about the Billie Jean King Cup final.

Great Britain without Raducanu in a tricky group

Bille Jean King Cup semi-final teams: A - Switzerland, Canada, Italy;  B - Australia, Slovakia, Belgium;  C - Spain, Kazakhstan, Great Britain;  Group D - Czech Republic, United States, Poland
Bille Jean King Cup final teams

Less than a fortnight before the start of the event, 2021 US Open champion Raducanu pulled out with a wrist injury, leaving the event without the biggest draw for the home fans and the hosts without their players.

“Obviously it’s disappointing for Emma, ​​the fans and the event,” LTA tournament director Rebecca James told BBC Sport. “But as far as GB is concerned, the team has a number of players who will no doubt be fit and who have had a lot of support from the British public in our previous domestic ties.”

Raducanu’s absence means Britain’s highest-ranked player will be world number 95 Harriet Dart. She is joined by 130th-ranked Katie Boulter and the experienced Heather Watson, who is ranked 134th but reached the fourth round of Wimbledon this summer – her first appearance in the last 16 of a Grand Slam singles tournament.

Established couple Alicia Barnett and Olivia Nicholls make up the rest of the team.

The opponents for both Great Britain teams are tough choices, with Kazakhstan headlined by Wimbledon champion Elena Rybakina and Spain having world number 12 Paula Badosa in their squad.

“We recognize that we are the underdogs in our group, there is no doubt about it,” said captain Keothavong. “But all the same, the players on this team are capable of big wins. So we feel like we have a good shot.

“They [the GB players] he’ll feel the love, playing in front of the home crowd should help lift him up when they’re away in the heat of battle.”

The British players haven’t had time for regular karaoke sessions, but they’ve been bonding as a team in Glasgow’s “great cafe” and entertaining each other with impressions of different accents. it all dissolved into laughter when Watson put on Australia’s best.

Who else is playing?

He is banned from participating in defending champions Russia as part of sanctions related to the country’s invasion of Ukraine.

This means that Switzerland, last year’s runners-up, are the first places in the event. Their team includes Olympic champion Belinda Bencic as she seeks her first title.

However, the United States has the strongest team on paper, with three players at 15 singles, including the event’s top-ranked player, world number four Coco Gauff, as well as Madison Keys and Danielle Collins.

But they are in a tough group with the Czech Republic, who have won six of the last 10 editions of the women’s team and have 2021 French Open champion Barbora Krejcikova and 2021 Wimbledon runner-up Karolina Pliskova in their squad.

Poland’s world number one Swiat misses the final, having criticized the schedule as “unsafe”, as the WTA final in Texas – where she was competing – ended the day before the start of the match in Glasgow.

But Gauff, who was also at the tour’s season-ending event, made the long trip, much to the relief of US captain Kathy Rinaldi, who was forced to make a late change when Pegula – also in Texas – backed out on Monday.

“I’m very grateful that Coco came, it’s a great effort on his part,” said Rinaldi. “It’s been a long year for all these players.”

How do the Finals work?

The teams are divided into four groups of three and will play in a round-robin format, with only the winning teams advancing to the finals.

Matches are best of three sets and teams play three rubbers in a tie: two singles and one doubles. Doubles matches will be played with no ad score – where the next point wins when a game is reached at deuce – and the third set as a tie game (where the first wins to 10 points).

If a tie has been resolved after the singles, the doubles will still be played to obtain the total score that may be necessary to determine the final ranking of the teams.

Timetable (all times GMT)

November 8, Tuesday: Australia v Slovakia (10am); Kazakhstan v Great Britain (16:00)

Wednesday, November 9: Switzerland – Italy (10:00), Belgium – Slovakia (10:00); United States – Poland (16:00), Spain – Kazakhstan (16:00)

Thursday, November 10: Australia v Belgium (10am), Italy v Canada (10am); Spain v Great Britain (16:00), Czech Republic v Poland (16:00)

Friday, November 11: Switzerland v Canada (11:02); Czech Republic vs. United States (4:30 p.m.)

Saturday, November 12: Finals (10:00 and 16:00)

Sunday, November 13: Final (14:00)