Australia edge out Britain in thriller to reach Billie Jean King Cup final

Sam Stosur and Storm Sanders won a deciding doubles to put the Aussies into the final for the second time in the past three editions

Storm Sanders and Sam Stosur AI / Reuters / Panoramic

Sam Stosur and Storm Sanders were the heroes as Australia edged out Britain 2-1 in a thrilling encounter in Glasgow on Saturday as they put their country through to the final of the Billie Jean King Cup.

The pair combined brilliantly to beat the British pair of Olivia Nichols and Alicia Barnett 7-6 (1), 6-7 (5), 10-6 and give Australia a 2-1 win and set up a final against either Switzerland or Czech Republic.

“It was such a tough match,” veteran Stosur said. “I don’t think anyone deserved to lose that match. Congratulations to the Britain team, you’ve done amazing all week.”

Sanders gave the Aussies the ideal start when she beat Heather Watson 6-4, 7-6 (3) but Harriet Dart then pulled Britain level with a superb performance as she beat Ajla Tomljanovic 7-6 (3), 6-2 to force the match into a deciding doubles.

Stosur and Sanders had a massive edge in terms of experience but Nichols and Barnett have broken into the world’s top 100 this year and showed they belong at this level in what was a nerve-wracking clash.

The British pair had two set points at 6-5 in the opening set but Stosur and Sanders put it all together in the tiebreak to move ahead.

Nichols and Barnett kept their nerve in the second set and with the help of the Glasgow crowd, won the second set on a tiebreak, 7-5.

In the deciding 10-point tiebreak, Australia led 6-3 but were pegged back to 6-6 only for the Aussies to pull away at the crucial moment to clinch their place in the final for the second time in the past three editions, having lost out to France in 2021.

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