Belgium starts with healthy ambition in Billie Jean King Cup in Prague: “Dreams of the final”


Belgium starts the Billie Jean King Cup Final with healthy ambition, which starts on Monday at the O2 Arena in the Czech capital Prague.

BelgianSource: BELGIAN

After the cancellation of Alison Van Uytvanck, our country went to the Czech Republic with Elise Mertens (WTA 20), Greet Minnen (WTA 69), Ysaline Bonaventure (WTA 143) and Kirsten Flipkens (WTA 154). In group B they will face Belarus on Monday, a day later they will close the group stage with the game against Australia, which has to do without the number one in the world Ashleigh Barty. At Belarus, Aryna Sabalenka (WTA 2) and Victoria Azarenka (WTA 27) are not among them.

Three matches are played each time: two singles and one doubles. The four group winners advance to the semi-finals. “I don’t think we are among the favorites, but we are certainly an outsider here,” said captain Johan Van Herck during a digital press moment on Friday.

Almost twenty years ago, Belgium recorded its best result ever, beating Russia in the final of the then Fed Cup in Madrid. In 2006 the final for their own people was lost to Italy. “We certainly came to Prague with the necessary ambition. Some countries are not at full strength and that does change things. We have the qualities to go to the semi-finals. We are here with a homogeneous team, who know what it is like to win matches, both in singles and doubles. We can both win those first two encounters, but that doesn’t mean we will win them. Afterwards we will see who to play against. Of course we dream of what happened twenty years ago. That is certainly in mind.”

For the singles there is pressure on the shoulders of the Belgian number one Elise Mertens. The number twenty in the world does not yet know whether she will also participate in doubles. “It was a tough year with all those trips and long distances”, Mertens had to admit. “However, I took ten days of rest to recharge and prepare for these confrontations. I felt I needed to take a break.”


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