A controversial final in Prague. Russia beat Switzerland 2-0 in the decisive key and became champion of the 2021 Billie Jean King Cup (former Federation Cup), which meant his fifth trophy in this tournament. But what happened between the teams?
The first match of the final had Daria Kasatkina (28th in the WTA ranking) and Jil Teichmann (39th) as protagonists: in two sets by 6-2 and 6-4, the Russian put her country ahead and was approaching the title.
But the controversy occurred just before the second game. Everything indicated that on the part of the Russian team Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova (12th) would jump to the field, although at the last minute she suffered physical discomfort during the warm-up and was replaced by Liudmila Samsonova (40th) to face Belinda Bencic (17th).
The victory went to the Russian 3-6, 6-3 and 6-4, which immediately gave her country the title. From there, the fight was unleashed on the rival side for the attitude of having changed tennis players at the time of the game.
“To be honest, I think it was ugly. I’m very disappointed. I left my heart for Switzerland in the field, like my teammates. I think we deserved to win and I hope the karma of the sport will give it back to us. We will fight for that “, Bencic pointed out after the series.
Swiss captain Heinz Guenthard also added his point of view: “They told us 15 minutes before the game that they had traded player No. 1 for player No. 4. Either they have hurt themselves, which would be unfortunate, or they have done it on purpose, and that would be cheating. “
For his part, the Russian captain, Igor Andreev, explained that Pavlyuchenkova wanted to play, although “when warming up, he felt that he did not feel capable of giving one hundred percent“As a result, they had to change their designation.
In this way, Russia added one more title, the fifth. The last consecration had been in 2008, against Spain, and the previous final they played was six years ago, when they lost against the Czech Republic. The most winning country is still largely the United States, with 18 trophies.
It should be noted that the Billie Jean King Cup is already preparing for what will be the 2022 edition, which will have the qualifying stages for the new Finals in April.