Bencic secures Switzerland’s place in Billie Jean King Cup final with win over Czechs

The Swiss will take on Australia in the final on Sunday

Belinda Bencic BJK Cup 2022 AI / Reuters / Panoramic

Switzerland booked their place in the final of the Billie Jean King Cup for a second straight year after they saw off a formidable Czech Republic side 2-0 on Saturday.

Viktorija Golubic gave Switzerland the perfect start, beating Karolina Muchova, a former semi-finalist at the Australian Open, 6-4, 6-4 to make it 1-0.

And then Olympic champion Belinda Bencic beat former world No 1 Karoline Pliskova 6-2, 7-6 (5) to seal the win and put the Swiss through to a meeting with Australia, who edged out Britain 2-1 in their semi-final.

“It feels pretty good,” Bencic said. “So great to be in the final again. Of course we were trying for that but doing it again after last year, it’s a great achievement to come back and prove it again.”

The Swiss are still chasing their first ever Billie Jean King Cup title while Australia, who made the final in 2019, will try to win the competition for the eighth time, but the first time since 1974.

Golubic, who played such a key role in getting Switzerland to the semi-finals, put Switzerland in front with a fine performance in beating Muchova.

Bencic seals the win and place in the final

Bencic then ripped through the first set against Pliskova but found herself 3-0 down in the second set. The Czech extended her lead to 5-2 but could not serve out at 5-3 and Bencic took full advantage.

Pliskova had been serving superbly – she hit seven aces to 5-3 – but was broken at the worst possible time and though she forced a tiebreak, Bencic held her nerve to win it.

Team captain Heinz Gunthardt paid tribute to his entire team.

“It takes a lot (to get to the final),” he said. “They are the best teams in the world. We have to play our best to get to the semis, play our best to get to the finals and we’ll have to be at our absolute best in the final. It comes down to belief.”

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