After six long years, Russia has made it to the finals of the Bille Jean Cup thanks to Ludmilla Samsonova and Veronika Kudermetova. One would have expected the Russian to be expected after she won the singles round before joining Veronika in the doubles round to hand over a crushing defeat to the American pair Shelby Rogers and CoCo Vandeweghe but it was not the case. They both charged at the American duo and won the game 6-3 6-3 to progress to the finals.
Samsonova won against Sloane Stephens 1-6 6-4 6-3 but then the tables were turned by Danielle Collins when she defeated Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova 6-7(9) 7-6(2) 6-2.
Quite surprisingly, Samsonova is not the highest ranked RTF player. She infact occupies the lowest rank but was allowed to take on Sloane after she stunned everyone with 2-0 gameplay against the 2017 US Open Champion.
“It’s an unbelievable feeling to win my first match in the Billie Jean King Cup. I was very positive before the match. I knew it’s gonna be a very, very tough match against Sloane,” she said.
Competing to win the Billie Jean Cup for the fifth time
The Billie Jean Cup formerly known as the Fed Cup is being hosted at Prague. The Russians are competing in the event under the name Russian Tennis Federation because of the ban that was imposed on the country after the doping scandal at the Olympics. The nation is not allowed to raise their flags or even sing their national anthem.
The Russians had a great start. They overpowered their opponents in the group ties but United States struggled a bit against Spain, but they persevered. Their progress to the semifinals was a bit rocky. They had suffered a harrowing defeat at the hands of Slovakia.
- Ludmilla Samsonova and Veronika Kudermetova defeats Shelby Rogers and CoCo Vandeweghe.
- The Russians are in the finals of the Billie Jean Cup for the first time since 2015.
- The Russians are competing under the name Russian Tennis Federation due to the ban.