After a stunning victory against Spain, GREAT BRITAIN advances to the semi-finals for the first time since 1981
Great Britain advanced to the Billie Jean King Cup semi-finals with a 3-0 victory against Spain, thanks to impressive singles victories from Heather Watson and Harriet Dart.
After Anne Keothavong’s incredible performance in Glasgow propelled her nation to the semifinals of the event for the first time since 1981, the Great Britain squad broke down in tears.
The next scheduled match for Britain is this coming Saturday against Australia.
Nicholls said, “We had a big problem on our hands.”
Hev played well, Harriet defeated Badosa, and we came out and won the decisive doubles. Many doubted us, but because of our unity and friendship, we were determined to prove them wrong.
To which Keothavong said, “This is truly remarkable. Every single member of our crew has earned my utmost respect and admiration.
A stunning surprise occurred when No. 20 seed Dart defeated No. 13 seed Paula Badosa 6-3, 6-4. This was just her second career victory against a player ranked in the top 20.
In the absence of the injured Emma Raducanu, the world No.98, who plays singles for Great Britain, stunned a weary Badosa with 15 wins and a strong serve.
A 6-0, 6-2 win by Watson in the singles guaranteed that Great Britain would advance to the semi-finals at the expense of Spain and Kazakhstan provided Barnett and Nicholls beat Aliona Bolsova and Rebeka Masarova.
Spain’s 3-0 thrashing of Kazakhstan after a 2-1 loss by Great Britain gave the latter another shot.
WATSON RUINS PARRIZAS DIAZ
Heather Watson smashed Nuria Parrizas Diaz 6-0, 6-2 in the first round to set a great tone for the British team.
The 30-year-old, who didn’t play against Kazakhstan on Tuesday, dominated the first set, 5-0, against an opponent rated 43 places higher than her.
After going up a break in the first game, Watson held, fending off four break opportunities, and went on to win the rest of the games in the set with ease, displaying a wide variety of impressive strokes.
Parrizas Diaz had a brief reprieve by holding her first two service games in the second set, but Watson quickly capitalized by breaking to go up 4-2, and she went on to win the next two games and the set.
“I played very aggressively and had so much fun out there,” Watson stated, expressing his satisfaction with his performance.
I really like performing here because of the vibe. Wimbledon is my home court and where I’ve had my finest Grand Slam performances. It motivates me to perform at my best.
When used against BADOSA, DART’S MAGIC DISAPPOINTS
A break in the first game got Dart off to a great start and set the tone for a fantastic first set from the Brit, which stayed on service until Badosa double-faulted while attempting to save a break point and gave the world no. 98 the opportunity to serve out the set.
Now that the set was on the line, though, a visibly fatigued Badosa finally found some success, earning two break opportunities and converting on the first when a backhand from Dart went long.
Dart immediately retaliated with a winning forehand, giving him set point on Badosa’s serve. When another double fault was declared, she felt she had won, but a challenge revealed the match was in doubt, giving the Spaniard a chance to come back. Dart’s ferocious comeback clinched her third break and won her the set anyhow.
Badosa fought off a break point, while Dart fended off two in the opening games of the second set.
Although the world number thirteen played better and applied more pressure to her opponent, the latter held firm and eventually won the match by a score of 5-4.
At 30-40, Dart had match point after Badosa failed to hold and made an unforced mistake, which she converted.
I was very moved by Heather’s performance this afternoon; she played fantastic, as Dart put it.
It was my goal to perform as well as she did, so I’m pleased with how today went.
STUNNING WIN IS SEALED BY BARNETT AND NICHOLLS, WHO KEEP THEIR COOL
After Watson and Dart’s heroics, the equation for Barnett and Nicholls was simple: win against Bolsova and Masarova, and Great Britain would be in the semi-finals of the Billie Jean King Cup (formerly the Fed Cup) for the first time since 1981.
In the opening set, the British duo showed resolve by fighting off five break points and eventually winning the set through a tiebreak, which they converted on their second match chance.
The British team capitalized on their opportunities after trading breaks early in the second set, securing two more breaks of serve before serving out the match to advance to the semifinals.
Meanwhile, Australia advanced to the semifinals by topping Group B with a 3-0 victory against Belgium.
Canada defeated Italy 3-0 because to a stellar performance by Leylah Fernandez, setting up a showdown with Switzerland in the final Group A match on Friday.