The fall of the double flag that formed Garbine Muguruza and Paula Padusa in the last minute was a huge blow to the Spanish team’s aspirations in the final stage of the Billie Jean King Cup, which begins on Monday at the O2 Arena. in Prague. Both decided to drop the call-up, having qualified for the Women’s Masters, – next on the calendar, 10-17 in Mexico (Guadalajara) – and from the undisguised optimism they gave to create a team out of circumstances that refute the loss of quality with the illusion of returning to the sweet competition territory .
That is, with Muguruza and Padusa on the payroll, everything looked different, and the team led by Annabel Medina was chosen as one of the most balanced and finally as a candidate. However, the absence of the two references – the world’s fifth and eleventh respectively, the new champions in Chicago and Indian Wells – poses an entirely different scenario that the five finalists will try to make up for: Carla Suarez (335), Sarah Sorribes (37), Nuria Barezas (66) , Rebecca Masarova (ranked 168) and Alyona Bolsava (ranked 175).
These last two helped the city piece together the mystery around the century. The captain, on the bench since 2017, has accepted the loss of her two majors by resigning and is now appealing to the power of the block to try to beat the first set, and from there, whatever it should be. The Valencia coach is aware that the new format designed to renew the old FA Cup can produce unexpected turns and that it will force players not to speculate, following the new Davis Cup.
“It is a challenge for all teams, there are many differences. Before you know you have five points and that you can come back on the second day. Not now. Now you have to give all your energy in every match,” he said in the appearance before the first match against Slovakia, the number one contender. In Group C, starting point today (17.00, Teledeporte). The other will be the United States, knowing that only one of the three will reach the semi-finals, as well as the last champion (France), Australia (runner-up), the Czech Republic, Canada, Germany, Belgium, Belarus, Russia will complete the participation. and Switzerland.
In the first match against the Slovaks, Medina will turn to Sorribes and think about what to do in the second individual. There’s the trick of Carla Suarez, who is 33 and facing her last championship after an acknowledged career. “There are many years here, I have a lot of experience and I will try to contribute to everything. If I am here it is because I am available. Annabelle knows that, if she needs it, she can really count on me,” confirms the Canary, who this year has been saying goodbye to the big stages and has not competed Since the US Open. In any case, its presence is a vitamin.
It will be played on hard ground already covered, and the captain says the deck is “not overly fast due to platform wear in recent years.” Without Muguruza or Padusa, Spain is not interested in speed at all, although the coordination forces you to run from the start. From the start, there will be a friendly team up front. Karolina Schmiedlova (82nd) and Kristina Kokova (108th) lead the Slovak call-up, well below the group proposed by the United States, which despite the losses, attends with tennis players such as Daniel Collins (31) and Shelby Rogers. (40) or Sloane Stephens (63).
This is how this Billie Jean King Cup is served, and Globalism A female like Davis, she was shut down in 2020 due to the pandemic. Attractive anyway, and an incentive to see the Spanish team on the front line again after a long and arduous journey that took them to the second division. Little by little Medina managed to form a recognizable mass. Of course, recent events hamper the goal of lifting the sixth cup, after those obtained in 1991, 1993, 1994, 1995 and 1998, where Arantxa Sánchez Vicario and Conchita Martínez were the pivot. After that, three finals and three defeats: 2000, 2002 and 2008.
De Kontaveit a Zverev
On the other hand, the Guadalajara Masters stake was permanently closed this Sunday. In the absence of a single name to complete the label, Slovenian Annette Kontaveit, who beat Simona Halep (6-2, 6-3) in the Napoca Cup final and finished the last seven days of work, which he also won in Moscow, will wear last. Thus, the teachers will be: Arina Sabalenka, Barbora Krezhikova, Karolina Pliskova, Maria Sakkari, Ija Swatic, Muguruza and Padusa of the Spaniards.
On the ATP circuit, German Alexander Zverev, the executioner of Carlos Alcaraz of Murcia in the Vienna semi-finals, won his fifth Cup of the season by defeating Francis Tiafoe 7-5, 6-4.
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