Russia and Switzerland set up BJK Cup final

AFP

WATCH the Billie Jean Cup on beIN SPORTS | available via Foxtel, Kayo Sports, Fetch TV and beIN SPORTS CONNECT

The Russians will meet Switzerland in the trophy showdown on Sunday (AEDT), after Olympic champion Belinda Bencic defeated Ajla Tomljanovic to secure an unassailable 2-0 lead for the Swiss over Australia.

While Switzerland did not need a doubles decider, the Russian team – competing this week as Russian Tennis Federation – did.

Samsonova, who clinched her maiden singles title on the WTA Tour earlier this year, put it ahead in the tie against USA, downing 2017 US Open champion Sloane Stephens 1-6 6-4 6-3.

Yet USA hit back through Danielle Collins, who defeated Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova 6-7 (9-11) 7-6 (7-2) 6-2 in a contest that lasted two hours and 42 minutes in Prague.

Momentum was with the 18-time champions, but the Russians recovered in the doubles, with Samsonova and Kudermetova ultimately having little trouble in seeing off Shelby Rogers and Coco Vandeweghe 6-3 6-3.

Bencic saw off Tomljanovic to confirm Switzerland's place in the final, with Jil Teichmann having earlier overcome Storm Sanders 6-0 6-3.

Russia dominated this event, previously known as the Fed Cup, in the mid to late 2000s, winning four out of five editions from 2004 to 2008, but it has not triumphed since.

Switzerland recorded its best result when a team featuring Martina Hingis finished second to Spain, way back in 1998.


>