Polish women have the chance to appear in the final Billie Jean Cup in a new format. Before the Fed Cup reorganization and name change, they were promoted to the first world group of eight teams, and in February 2015 they lost to Russia in Krakow.

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The following years were weaker. Then the format of the games was changed, and the first release of BJKC was complicated by the pandemic. The Polish national team won the match in the decisive stage of the qualifiers a year ago. In Bytom, without Shvetek and Magda Lynet, they managed to defeat the Brazilians 3-2.

This time they will play in the strongest lineup – with WTA leader Świątek and 58th in it, Linette, who returned on Tuesday from the USA, winning the tournament in Charleston for the first time in her doubles career and reaching the quarter-finals in one. The third Polish woman in the Top 100 (87th place) is Magdalena Fręch. Maja Chualinska (265 WTA doubles) and Alija Rusulska (59th WTA doubles) were also in the lineup.

– Everyone is in good health, so I hope this duel ends with our victory – PZT President Mirosław Skrzypczyński said at the press conference on Wednesday.

In November last year, the Russians won the final tournament in Prague. However, they will not defend the title, since they were excluded from the competition due to the Russian military attack on Ukraine. Belarus, whose authorities support aggression, was excluded for the same reason. As a result, Belgium reached the final tournament, which took a loss against Belarus.

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The final tournament, which includes 12 teams, will take place from 8 to 13 November at an as yet unknown location. In addition to Belgium, last year’s finalists – the Swiss, Australians, who replaced the Russians, as well as the Slovaks – also participants in it – were originally supposed to play the play-off against Australia.

Seven teams will be selected for the upcoming play-off matches. Poland, as an unranked team, was fortunate in the draw, with Romania ranked lowest among the seeded teams.

In addition, competitors appeared in Radom without the previous leader of the world ranking, Simona Halep. For various reasons, he lost four other players from the top 100 in the standings: Sorana Ceresti (24 WTA), Elena Gabriela Ross (56), Jacqueline Christian (70) and Anna Bogdan (91).

As a result, Irina Camelia Pejo (63 WTA) will be the leader of Romania. The team also includes Mihaela Buzarnescu (123), Andrea Brisacario (200) and Andrea Mito (103rd in the doubles classification).

We treat every opponent with focus and respect. However, we know our value. I always tell girls not to underestimate anyone, but also to have conviction and confidence in their abilities. The girls are developing, playing better and better, and the results are the best confirmation of this – team captain David Sylt emphasized.

The other play-offs are: Italy – France, USA – Ukraine, Czech Republic – Great Britain, Kazakhstan – Germany, Canada – Latvia and the Netherlands – Spain.

The last participant will perform thanks to the “Wild Card” awarded by the International Tennis Federation.

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The Poland-Romania match will be the first international event at the recently opened Radom Sports Center, whose stands can accommodate 5,000 spectators.

The competition will start on Friday at 1:00 pm. On the first day, two singles matches are played in which the captains of the team play with the “second racket” of the opposing team. However, on Saturday at 11:00 the main players of both teams will gather, and then the lower ranked players will appear on the field. If there is a 2:2 tie, a doubles match will be played.

It airs Friday 15 April and Saturday 16 April on Polsat Sport Extra and Polsat Box Go.

MC, PAP

Go to Polsatsport.pl