Glasgow, Scotland, 13 November 2022 | Leigh Rogers

Australia is one step closer to ending a 48-year title drought in the Billie Jean King Cup competition.

The Australian team won through to this year’s final with a hard-fought 2-1 semifinal victory against host nation Great Britain in Scotland today.

Storm Sanders played a starring role, winning both her singles and doubles matches, to help qualify Australia for a 19th final – and just their third final appearance in the past 30 years.

Sanders continued her impressive form on the singles court, scoring a third consecutive victory this week against a higher-ranked opponent.

The 28-year-old Sanders posted a 6-4 7-6(3) win against Brit Heather Watson, who is ranked 104 places higher.

“I just go out and do my thing on the court, and I think in this format and representing Australia, rankings go out the window,” said world No.237 Sanders.

“I thrive in this environment, having the team around us, not just on the court but the whole week before. Then obviously during my match, to be able to look at them and get the support and energy from them.

“I’m just trying to do my part for the team and coming up with the wins is just the cherry on top.”

Harriet Dart kept British hopes alive with a 7-6(3) 6-2 victory against Australian No.1 Ajla Tomjanovic in the second singles rubber.

A fearless Dart fired 25 winners to 12 to level the tie.

Sanders then teamed with Sam Stosur to win the deciding doubles rubber against British combination Alicia Barnett and Olivia Nicholls.

The Australians produced a steely performance, saving a set point in the opening set and holding their nerve in a high-pressure encounter, to edge out a 7-6(1) 6-7(5) [10-6] victory.

“It was a great contest,” said Australian captain Alicia Molik. “I think that’s what I’m most proud of is we needed to fight from the first match, the second, right through until the last point of the doubles, and we sustained.

“It was pretty awesome tennis there in the end. I think today Australia really showed our fighting spirit.”

Australia now faces Switzerland in the final, after world No.12 Belinda Bencic led the Swiss team to victory over the Czech Republic in the other semifinal. This is a rematch of last year’s semifinal, which Switzerland won.

The final will be played at Emirates Arena in Glasgow on Sunday 13 November from 2pm GMT time (from 1am Monday 14 November AEDT) and will be broadcast live in Australia on the Nine Network.

Australia is aiming to win an eighth Billie Jean King Cup title, formerly known as the Fed Cup, and first since 1974, when Evonne Goolagong Cawley led the team.

Billie Jean King Cup – Australia’s finals appearances
Champions 1964, 1965, 1968, 1970, 1971, 1973, 1974
Finalists 1963, 1969, 1975, 1976, 1977, 1978, 1979, 1980, 1984, 1993, 2019

Billie Jean King Cup – semifinal results


Storm Sanders (AUS) d Heather Watson (GBR) 6-4 7-6(3)
Harriet Dart (GBR) d Ajla Tomljanovic (AUS) 7-6(3) 6-2
Storm Sanders/Sam Stosur (AUS) d Alicia Barnett/Olivia Nicholls (GBR) 7-6(1) 6-7(5) [10-6]

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