Belinda Bencic and Jil Teichmann avenged the Olympic doubles final on Thursday when they beat Switzerland to reach the semifinals of the Billy Jean King Cup.
The Swiss duo defeated Lucy Hradica and Katrina Seniakova 6-3, 6-3 to give Switzerland a 2-1 home side victory in the rebranded version of the Fed Cup and a match against Australia in the semi-finals.
The taste of this victory will be even sweeter for Switzerland as Bensk and Victoria Golubic lost to Siniakova and Barbora Krejkova in this year’s Olympic final.
Earlier on Thursday, in the singles rubbers, Markita Vandrosova defeated Golobik 6-4, 6-2 and Bansk defeated Krajikkova 7-6 (7/2), 6-4.
In Thursday’s opening tie, Australia beat Belarus 2-1, while Toofan Sanders defeated Yulia Hotoka 6-3, 6-3 and Ajla Tomljanovic defeated Alexandra Sasnovich 4-6, 6-2, 6-3. Defeated by
Sasnoch and Ludzia Marozova then defeated Olivia Gediki and Alan Perez 6-4, 6-4 in doubles rubber to secure a consolation spot for Belarus.
“I played good tennis today, I was very nervous but happy to win,” Sanders said.
“I didn’t break into the whole match so I’m very happy with how I served today.”
Tomaljanovich stumbled in his first appearance in the tournament, allowing Sasnovich to go 4-0 up and then win the set.
But she managed two breaks in the second set and then added four to three in the third set for the increasingly nervous Belarusian.
“There really is no bigger feeling than that, I was glad I could come out today and the fact that I got the point, I’m incredibly happy,” said Tomaljanovich, of Croatian descent.
In the evening tie, Golobuk took a 4-1 lead in the match against Vanderusova.
But Vandrosova faced the crisis as she improved her service and tried to reach the net more often.
The Czechs took a 4-0 lead in the second, increasingly frustrated, racket-destroying Golobok, and then maintained their serve to please the home crowd.
“It’s definitely a relief, I think it was a great game,” said Vandrosova.
“I’m glad I changed it. It was just a matter of a few points.”
But the joy at Prague’s O2 Arena did not last long as Bensk, who defeated Wondersova in the Olympic singles final, stepped on the court with a sharp 3-0 lead over French Open champion Krajikkova.
Bencic went 5-2 up but Krejcikova corrected and leveled, the set was taken to a tiebreak in which the more aggressive Bencic prevailed.
The tug-of-war continued in the second set of panic, with Bensk taking an extra break to watch impatiently Krajkova.
In doubles rubber, the Swiss players looked more compact than the advanced Czech pair.
He performed impeccably on the net with Teachman during the match and Bansk added to the strength of his singles win.
“Basically, they had to take the full risk because they have the best team,” Bensick said.
“I think Jill was the best for her. She’s a universal girl and I’m glad I was able to be her partner today.”
Russia will face the United States in the second semi-final on Friday. The final is on Saturday.