Mission accomplished: Switzerland defeat Australia for Billie Jean King Cup title

By Chris Oddo | @ElNiñoFan | Sunday November 13, 2022

Last year’s runners-up went one step further in 2022, defeating Australia to bring the BJK Cup to Switzerland for the first time.

Photo Source: Getty

Reduced to tears after a bitter loss to Russia in last year’s Billie Jean King Cup final, there was a locker room moment that set the tone for a surprising response.

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belinda bencic, the 2020 Olympic gold medalist and team court leader, received some moving words from one of the key cogs in the Swiss machine. It was Jil Tiechmansending a message that would reverberate through the Swiss dressing room for the next year.

“We were finalists last year and we were very heartbroken,” Bencic said on pitch Sunday after Switzerland clinched its first BJK Cup title with a 2-0 win over Australia. I don’t think I’ve ever cried so much. In the dressing room, [Jil] she came to me and said, ‘Next year we’ll do it and we’ll take it,’ and we did, so I’m incredibly proud.”

There was never any doubt that the Swiss would be motivated to return to the final in 2022, but the fact that they delivered on a promise and decisively won the title shows how close they are as a team and how talented they are. are.

“It gave us extra motivation,” Bencic said with a smile.

“We don’t fake it, we actually like each other,” Teichmann added, grinning from ear to ear.

Both players made tremendous contributions during the Billie Jean King Cup Finals, both saving the best for last.

Pushed to the brink by Australia’s Storm Sanders in Sunday’s opener, Teichmann never gave up as she outlasted Sanders 6-3, 4-6, 6-3 in a match that was close to the bitter end.

Bencic, in particular, was feeling the strain as he watched from the sidelines as he prepared for his match.

“It was stressful,” he said. “I felt like I gave so much energy in Jil’s match because I was trying to push her so much, because Storm was playing amazing, she was throwing everything at Jil and she stayed very strong. At every point, she just didn’t walk away and refused to lose and just fought with everything she had.

“I was so proud and so inspired in a way and just tried to do the same.”

Teichmann went 2-0 in singles during the week, earning both victories in close three sets, a testament to his grit and grace under pressure.

Bencic went 4-0 in singles, posting victories over Jasmine Paolini, Leylah Fernandez, Karolina Pliskova and Ajla Tomljavic, her victim in Sunday’s cup victory, 6-2, 6-1.

A woman on a mission if ever there was one, Bencic has won all eight of her single sets and only lost more than four games in a set twice.

She needed 75 minutes to finish off Tomljanovic on Sunday, as she broke six times from 12 chances and hit 14 winners to 13 unforced errors, to the Australian’s seven winners and 23 unforced errors.

Switzerland claim their first Billie Jean King Cup title in their third final appearance, while the Australians remain seven-time champions in the “Women’s Tennis World Cup.”

Swiss captain Heinz Guenthardt says victory, in the end, came down to a close-knit group with a lot of heart, willing to do whatever it took to prevail.

“Obviously, it’s hard to put into words,” Guenthardt said. “We didn’t win this just today. It was this week that he actually spent years trying to get better and better at it. It was very close last year; this year was a better one, but you saw how many close points there were, who knows why you win something or lose something.

“A lot has to do with the heart, and this team has a lot of heart, I tell you.”

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