Glasgow (Scotland), Nov 11 (IANS) Last year’s Billie Jean King Cup runners-up Switzerland returned back in the semifinals after victories by Olympic medallists Belinda Bencic and Viktorija Golubic propelled them past Canada 2-0 in Friday’s group stage matches.
Bencic clinched the tie by defeating Leylah Fernandez 6-0, 7-5 in the second singles match. Bencic converted six of her 10 break points to triumph in 89 minutes and level her head-to-head against Fernandez to 2-2.
“I feel like I’m moving really well, and I’m just trying to grind and fight for every point. I think then you get into the rhythm a little bit, and of course, it feels great to be pushed by my team and just to have the heart on the sleeve,” Bencic said on the court, after her win.
Brilliant backhands by Bencic helped give her the first seven games of the match. Fernandez’s timing clicked into gear as the contest progressed, taking the ball early to keep the second set close, but Bencic served out the match for the second time of asking to seal the tie for the Swiss.
In the day’s first clash, Golubic came back from a set down to bounce 2019 US Open champion Bianca Andreescu 2-6, 6-3, 6-4. Andreescu narrowed Golubic’s third-set lead from 4-0 to 5-4, but Golubic found sturdy serving in the last game to eke out the 2-hour and 8-minute win.
“It took a lot out of me today, and I think my team gave me so much support,” Golubic said on the court afterward.
“They lifted me up so much because I didn’t start that well, and I think without them, it would be an easy two-set loss. But I was able to get the energy from the crowd as well, and it was a great match,” she added.
Switzerland is still seeking its first Billie Jean King Cup title. In addition to their runner-up finish last year, they also finished second in 1998.