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Britain surge into Billie Jean King Cup semi-finals for firs…


Great Britain pulled off a outstanding 3-0 victory over Spain in Glasgow to achieve the semi-finals of the Billie Jean King Cup for the primary time in 41 years.

Figuring out following defeat through Kazakhstan on Tuesday that just a whitewash of the five-time champions could be just right sufficient, Britain went into the tie on the Emirates Area with reputedly little likelihood.

However Heather Watson and Harriet Dart overcame a lot upper ranked fighters – the latter in tears after shocking Thirteenth-ranked Paula Badosa – and novices Alicia Barnett and Olivia Nicholls shrugged off the power of a winner-takes-all doubles rubber to defeat Aliona Bolsova and Rebeka Masarova.

The pair have been past due call-ups following Emma Raducanu’s withdrawal and had now not been in anything else remotely like this example sooner than however once more performed fantastically to clinch a 7-6 (5) 6-2 victory.

Britain final reached the semi-finals again in 1981 and feature been within the festival’s doldrums for a lot of the interim, with this kind of consequence up to now off their radar it appeared utterly unattainable.

Anne Keothavong’s aspect arguably will have to now not also be within the 12-team match having misplaced a qualifier to the Czech Republic in April however they got a wild card when Britain stepped in to host the development on the Emirates Area and feature spectacularly made essentially the most of it.

They now transfer thru to a semi-final conflict towards Australia, the place they will have to legitimately really feel they’ve a powerful likelihood of victory.

Amongst 4 outstanding performances, credit score particularly is going to Dart, who overcame a rating hole of 85 puts in a 6-3 6-4 victory over big-hitting Badosa.

Dart fought again tears in her on-court interview as she mentioned: “It’s so superior being right here in Britain and with the ability to host this match. I’m in order that satisfied to stay this one alive.”

The 26-year-old has crushed a variety of extremely ranked gamers this season and he or she used that self assurance along side the momentum generated through Watson’s impeccable 6-0 6-2 luck towards Nuria Parrizas Diaz to surge right into a 5-2 lead.

When Badosa earned a reprieve on set level with a a success problem, Dart stepped in and dispatched a backhand go back winner.

Badosa advanced in the second one set and constantly harassed the Dart serve, however the global quantity 98 held company fantastically after which seized her likelihood.

“She’s completed such a lot, the sort of nice participant,” mentioned Dart. “I all the time knew it used to be going to be a shockingly difficult fit.

“My function used to be to make it as difficult as conceivable in the market for her and I felt like I achieved my recreation plan truly smartly. I knew that the entire power used to be on them as a result of, on paper, she’s intended to overcome me simply. However those occasions, anything else can occur. I’m simply truly proud to constitute my nation.”

Captain Keothavong opted to play Watson fairly than Katie Boulter, who produced an error-strewn show on Tuesday, within the opening rubber and the 30-year-old absolutely justified that call with a glowing show towards a participant ranked 61 puts upper.

“I had such a lot a laugh in the market,” mentioned Watson. “I used to be smiling over at my workforce so much. I cherished each 2d in the market and I believe my tennis confirmed that. I believe I performed truly smartly.”

Australia was the primary workforce to e book their position within the final 4 with a 3-0 victory over Belgium.

Belgian primary Elise Mertens, who dashed to Glasgow after profitable the doubles name on the WTA Finals in Texas on Monday night, retired all the way through the 3rd set of her conflict towards Ajla Tomljanovic with a shoulder damage.

Belgium performed their two fits sooner than the Czech Republic, who had two gamers on the WTA Finals, contested their first tie, which drew complaint from captain Johan Van Herck.

“We weren’t helped through the placement,” he mentioned. “What came about with Elise, I don’t suppose it’s very right kind. It had an enormous have an effect on on what we needed to undergo right here, particularly Elise now with an damage.

“So it’s one thing the place I believe we, as a small nation, need to pay a value for now not being the Czech Republic that begins nowadays or america that may play within the night.”

Canada will tackle Switzerland on Friday for a spot within the semi-finals after beating Italy 3-0, with Leylah Fernandez claiming a 6-0 6-0 victory over Martina Trevisan, whilst the Czech Republic defeated Poland 2-1 to arrange the similar state of affairs towards the US.


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