Brisbane, 11 April 2024 | Dan Imhoff

Storm Hunter and Arina Rodionova will lead the singles charge as Australia attempts to regain its place in the Billie Jean King Cup Finals against Mexico at the Queensland Tennis Centre this weekend.

At Thursday’s draw ceremony, Hunter was nominated to face 30-year-old Marcela Zacarias on Day One following Arina Rodionova’s showdown against former world No.6 doubles specialist Giuliana Olmos.

Team captain Sam Stosur said it was not an easy decision finalising nominations. All her charges had put their best foot forward to earn the call-up.

“Myself and the coaches talked a lot during the week and this was the decision that we felt we wanted to go with for Friday and over the weekend, so it’s not like putting any of these girls was going to be a bad choice,” Stosur said.

“It’s tough, they’re all very similar in rankings at the moment, all been playing exceptionally well in recent months, so it’s what we ended up going with. Some of it you’ve got to go with your gut and put it out there.”

> READ: Stosur up to challenge in switch from teammate to chief selector

Zacarias, who played the role of Arantxa Sanchez Vicario in the film King Richard, was first selected on the Mexican team 12 years ago and was not an opponent Hunter took lightly.

“The practices have been high quality and I’m really honoured to be able to play tomorrow in my first home tie, so it’ll definitely be a bit of a different feeling,” said Hunter, who has compiled a 10-2 record across singles and doubles since making her debut for Australia in 2021.

“Playing Mexico we’ve got to be ready. I’ve been in that situation where we’ve been the underdogs and we’ve beaten teams we shouldn’t have beaten.

“We have to be ready for them. Representing your country does bring out your best for a lot of players. I’m super excited for tomorrow.”

> READ: Hunter’s Billie Jean King Cup homecoming worth the wait

Rodionova last opened a Billie Jean King Cup tie for Australia against Slovakia in 2016 and the 34-year-old was drawn to do so for a second time against 31-year-old Olmos, whose greater tour-level experience was favoured over her higher-ranked singles teammates.

“Eight years, feels like it was yesterday,” Rodionova said. “Of course, we’ve had such a strong team the last few years, so it’s a great honour to be part of it again. Just really looking forward to the weekend.”

In the reverse singles on Saturday Hunter was drawn to meet Olmos, a player whom she was more familiar with as a doubles opponent, while Rodionova was likely to face Zacarias, barring no team substitutions.

Doubles world No.3 Hunter and No.8 Ellen Perez were announced as Australia’s combination to meet Olmos and Zacarias for Mexico in the fifth rubber.

“Playing alongside someone like Storm, who’s been No.1 and a great friend, and just playing with all these girls, we have such great camaraderie and playing for each other, being obviously a part of this team, I want to do my part,” Perez said.

The two-day Billie Jean King Cup by Gainbridge Qualifier tie, which sees Australia take on Mexico, begins on Friday 12 April.

Tickets are on sale through Ticketmaster, with adult prices starting at $20, concessions from $16, kids from $5 and family passes (two adults and two children) starting at $45.

> BUY NOW: Billie Jean King Cup tickets

Find your way to play: Visit to get out on court and have some fun!