Australia , 15 March 2022 | Tennis Australia

Australia will advance directly to the Billie Jean King Cup Finals, after the ITF confirmed replacement teams for Russia and Belarus in the 2022 event.

It follows the suspension of the Russian Tennis Federation (RTF) and Belarus Tennis Federation (BTF) from ITF membership and from participation in ITF team competitions.

As the 2021 champions, the RTF team had qualified automatically for the 2022 Billie Jean King Cup Finals. This position in the Finals was instead granted to Australia as the highest-ranked team to exit in the 2021 semifinals.

The Qualifier tie between Australia and Slovakia scheduled for 15-16 April will therefore not be played. Slovakia receives a bye and advances directly to the 2022 Finals.

Australia’s Billie Jean Cup captain Alicia Molik acknowledged that the hard work of the entire team to reach the 2021 semifinals had been rewarded.

“While we would have loved the opportunity to play a home tie, and all players were looking forward to competing in front of Aussie fans, we are excited to get another chance to play for the Billie Jean King Cup,” Molik said.

The team captain also noted the circumstances that led to the suspension of the Russian and Belarusian teams.

“We also acknowledge this is a difficult time for so many and the circumstances are unique,” Molik added. “Our thoughts and best wishes are with everyone in Ukraine.”

Australia is a seven-time champion in the world team competition, which was formerly known as Fed Cup. In 2019, Australia memorably progressed to the final against France, who claimed a 2-3 win in Perth.

After wins over Belarus and Belgium in 2021, Australia exited to Switzerland in the semifinal stage.