Barbora Krejcikova and Katerina Siniakova of the Czech Republic won the decisive doubles match as the Czech Republic defeated the United States 2-1 on Friday to advance to the semifinals of the Billie Jean King Cup in Seville, Spain.
Krejcikova and Siniakova recorded a 6-3, 7-5 victory over Danielle Collins and Taylor Townsend of the United States. The victory gave the Czech Republic the Group A title.
Also advancing to the semifinals on Friday was Slovenia (Group B). Canada (Group C) and Italy (Group D) earned spots on Thursday.
Twelve teams were divided into four groups to begin the event with round-robin play. The winner of each group advanced to play in the semifinals on Saturday, and the final is scheduled for Sunday.
Each match consists of two singles matches followed by a doubles match.
The Americans got off to a strong start Friday when Collins notched a 6-3, 6-2 victory over Siniakova. But Wimbledon champion Marketa Vondrousova got the Czech Republic even by dismantling Sofia Kenin 6-1, 6-1.
Shortly before the doubles match, U.S. captain Kathy Rinaldi replaced Sloane Stephens with Collins, who went 2-0 in singles in the competition.
But the combination of Krejcikova and Siniakova — who have won seven Grand Slam doubles crowns together — was too much for the U.S. duo. The Czech Republic will face Canada in the semis.
Slovenia advances to the semis despite falling 2-1 to Kazakhstan on Friday. All three teams in the group — the other being Australia — finished 1-1 with three match victories but Slovenia had the top win-loss record (9-5) in sets.
First, Kaja Juvan registered a 6-1, 6-0 victory over Anna Danilina in singles. Slovenia clinched advancement when Tamara Zidansek won the first set 6-2 against Yulia Putintseva of Kazakhstan. After Putintseva won the second set 6-2, Zidansek retired.
The Kazakh duo of Danilina and Zhibek Kulambayeva posted a 2-6, 6-4, 10-7 doubles win over Veronika Erjavec and Ela Milic.
Also, Spain beat Poland 2-1 in Group C and France defeated Germany 3-0 in Group D.
Billie Jean King Cup group standings:
1. Czech Republic, 2-0
2. United States, 1-1
3. Switzerland, 0-2
1t. Slovenia, 1-1 — advanced due to winning most sets
1t. Australia, 1-1
1t. Kazakhstan, 1-1
1. Canada, 2-0
2. Spain, 1-1
3. Poland, 0-2
1. Italy, 2-0
2. France, 1-1
3. Germany, 0-2
–Field Level Media
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