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Czech Republic beats defending champion Switzerland in group stage of BJK Cup Finals in Spain

Storm Sanders was Australia’s hero after she won the first singles rubber before returning for the deciding doubles match alongside 38-year-old Samantha Stosur.

Former player Billie Jean King poses with the trophy.
| Photo Credit: Reuters

The Czech Republic beat defending champion Switzerland 3-0 on the first day of the group stage at the Billie Jean King Cup Finals on Tuesday.

Debutant Linda Noskova defeated Celine Naef 7-6 (2), 4-6, 6-4 in the first singles match, and another debutant Marie Bouzkova beat Viktorija Golubic 6-4, 6-4 in the second match of the Group A tie. The third point came with Barbora Krejcikova and Katerina Siniakova defeating Golubic and Jil Teichmann 7-6 (3), 6-2 in the doubles match.

Bouzkova was a late addition to the Czech team following the withdrawal of world No. 8 Karolina Muchova because of a wrist injury.

Switzerland was without Olympic gold medalist Belinda Bencic, who announced on Friday that she is pregnant.

The United States is the other team in Group A and will face Switzerland on Thursday.

In Group B, Slovenia defeated last year’s runner-up Australia 2-1 after Kaja Juvan defeated Ajla Tomljanovic 6-4, 6-1 and Tamara Zidansek beat Daria Saville 6-1, 6-4.

Australia’s point came when Kimberly Birrell and Storm Hunter beat Veronika Erjavec and Ela Nala Milic 7-5, 6-7 (2), 10-5 in the doubles match.

The 12-team BJK Cup Finals is being played at La Cartuja Stadium in the southern Spanish city of Seville. It will run through Sunday offering a record total of $9.6 million in prize money, including $2.4 million to the champions.

The teams compete in four round-robin groups and the winners will advance to the semifinals.

The biggest team competition in women’s tennis is starting two days after the end of the WTA Finals in Cancun, Mexico, which featured the top eight players on the tour — including winner Iga Swiatek.

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