Slovenia joins Italy and Canada in BJK Cup semi-finals

Kaja Juvan © Gallo Images

Kaja Juvan helped Slovenia secure their place in the semi-finals of the Billie Jean King Cup on Friday by beating Kazakhstan’s Anna Danilina in straight sets.

Juvan, ranked 104th in the world, crushed Danilina, ranked 814th, 6-1, 6-0 in 53 minutes.

Teammate Tamara Zidansek won the first set of the second match against Yulia Putintseva to help Slovenia top Group B and join Italy and Canada in the semi-finals of the women’s team event.

Zidansek retired after the second set and Putintseva eventually won 2-6, 6-2, which was enough for Slovenia to seal their place in the last four.

The Slovenes will meet Italy on Saturday, after the Italians secured their place on Thursday by finishing first in Group D.

The other semi-final will see Canada, also qualified since Thursday, face either the United States or the Czech Republic, who will compete for first place in Group A later on Friday.

In Group D, the clash for honor between eliminated France and Germany favored the French.

Clara Burel put France on the right path by beating Julie Niemeier 6-4, 6-3.

Then, newcomer Varvara Gracheva won the second singles match after her German rival Tatjana Maria retired while leading 3-0.

Each BJK Cup match consists of two singles followed by a doubles. Each group of four group winners advances to the semi-finals.

The 2022 edition was won by Switzerland, who beat Australia, but both nations were eliminated in the group stage this year.

Alec Dittman

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