Russian Tennis Federation defeated Switzerland 2-0 in Saturday’s Billie Jean King Cup final at Prague’s O2 Arena to clinch their fifth title at the team competition formerly known as the Fed Cup.
Playing the new format of the event for the first time, Russia first topped Group A, which also included Canada and France. In the semifinals, the Russian team edged the USA (Group C winner) and lastly eliminated Switzerland with two singles victories in the finals.
Daria Kasatkina overpowered Jil Teichmann 6-2 6-4 to give Russian Tennis Federation a 1-0 lead in the final. Twenty-two-year-old Liudmila Samsonova, a Billie Jean King Cup debutante, stepped in as a replacement for injured Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova and downed Olympic gold medalist Belinda Bencic 3-6 6-3 6-4 to take Russia to the 2021 Billie Jean King Cup title.
The last time Russia triumphed at this team competition was in 2008, while their previous finals appearance was in 2015. In the five-year period between 2004 and 2008, the Slavic country won the Fed Cup four times.