Canada eliminated in BJK Cup final with loss to Russia

PRAGUE, Czech Republic – Russia brought Canada back to earth with a 3-0 Billie Jean King Cup draw on Tuesday.

PRAGUE, Czech Republic – Russia brought Canada back to earth with a 3-0 Billie Jean King Cup draw on Tuesday.

Canada’s confidence was boosted the day before when it upset defending champion France, but Russia with all its players in the top 50 was too strong.

Daria Kasatkina defeated Carol Zhao of Richmond Hill, Ont., In straight sets, and Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova took the win by beating Rebecca Marino of Vancouver 6-4, 4-6, 6-2.

“In the second set the odds (of winning) were 50-50 and I’m just happy with the third set,” Pavlyuchenkova said.

Russia’s dominance was completed in the doubles where Veronika Kudermetova and Liudmila Samsonova defeated Gabriela Dabrowski and Ottawa Marino 6-3, 6-1.

Russia rounds out Group A against France on Wednesday.

Canada competed in Prague without its two top-ranked players, world 24th Bianca Andreescu and 26th Leylah Fernandez.

The 12 teams in the final are divided into four groups of three teams. Only the group winners advance to the semi-finals on Friday.

In Group B, Australia, 2019 runner-up, opened their account by beating Belgium 2-0.

After Daria Gavrilova’s three-set victory over Greet Minnen, 131st-ranked Storm Sanders came back from a set down to stun 18th-ranked Elise Mertens, 3-6, 7-6 (5), 6-0 . Sanders converted his second match point with the last of his 35 winners.

“It was a most incredible feeling, I’m still shaking,” Sanders said.

Australia will then face Belarus on Thursday. Belgium beat Belarus 2-1 on Monday.

Later on Tuesday, the United States started against Slovakia, while Germany played against Switzerland.

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More AP tennis: https://apnews.com/hub/tennis and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

Karel Janicek, The Associated Press








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