Madrid, November 7 (European Press) –
The Spanish national team begins its campaign on Wednesday in the “first leg” of the Billie Jean King Cup finals, which will be held at La Cartuja Stadium in Seville, with a decisive match against Canada, where it hopes to add its first victory. Which enhances their chances of qualifying to the semi-finals of the tournament.
Spain will want to make the most of its host status in a first-round tie where it theoretically starts as favourites, but it already knows, from recent experience, that seeding has little influence in this competition.
The goal of the Anabel Medina-led team is to finally overcome their initial group, something that has plagued them in 2021, and especially in 2022, where Great Britain beat them in their second crossing as they only needed to win the match. He lost all three, also without winning a single set.
In light of this bitter experience, Spain now wants to be among the best again and is trying to fight to lift the cup that it has not won since 1998, losing the last final in 2008 to Russia and with the current captain in the team. Qualifying to the semi-finals does not seem complicated, but BJKC leaves no room for mistakes in this format and adding a first point should give peace of mind before the next duel against Poland without Iga Swiatek.
The main doubt for Anabel Medina may lie in who she will choose to play singles. The former Valencian tennis player was able to count on Paula Badosa in these finals, although, according to the classification, the Catalan is theoretically number three behind the expert Sara Sorribes, who arrived in good form and who also aims to achieve the double, and one. More from rookie Rebecca Masarova.
The problem is that Badosa was able to play this season only with difficulty due to his physical problems, the latest of which was a painful back injury that prevented him from attending Roland Garros and forced him to withdraw from Wimbledon, his last tournament. The woman from Girona has finished her season, but she is finally ready for this competition, where her lack of competitive rhythm can be compensated for by the freshness of the legs that are always important at this stage of the season.
On the other hand, Canada arrives in Seville without its most famous player, Bianca Andreescu, the 2019 US Open champion, whose injuries prevented her from proving herself among the best in the world. Thus, the “leadership” will fall on the shoulders of the young woman, Laila Fernandez (21 years old), who also played in the final in New York in 2021 and lost to Britain’s Emma Raducano.
The player from Montreal arrives at La Cartuja in very good form after winning the title in Hong Kong a few weeks ago and adding the semi-final in Nanchang, which saw him rise to 35th place in the rankings and be the best and in that sense in Group C. Besides her, there is another well-known face Such as Eugenie Bouchard, who became a “top five”, but is now ranked 273rd in the world, Rebecca Marino (176), Marina Stakosek (258) and Gabriela Dabrowski. Her best doubles player, as she is eighth in the world. The two countries have not met in this competition since 1992, with Spain winning 2-1.