The Russian Federation, to the final with Samsonova and Kudermetova

Liudmila Samsonova (C) of Russia celebrates with her teammates after winning her semi-final tennis match against Sloane Stephens of the US (not pictured) at the Billie Jean King Cup finals between Russia and the United States on November 5, 2021 in Prague.  (Photo by Michal Cizek / AFP)

The Russian Tennis Federation, name under which Russia competes because it cannot use either the name of the country or the flag due to a sanction for state doping, will play this Saturday (16:00, Teledeporte) the final of the Billie Jean King Cup after beating the United States 2-1 this Friday. He will face Australia or Switzerland, who face each other in the night match.

Liudmila Samsonova and Veronika Kudermetova were the great protagonists of the Russian triumph. Samsonova traced with bravery to win in their singles match to Sloane Stephens (1-6, 6-4 and 6-3 in 1h54) and, after the defeat of Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova (“In the third set I didn’t feel anything, I was very tired, I had given everything. I couldn’t demand more of myself,” she said) against Danielle Collins (7-6 (9), 6- 7 (2) and 6-2 in 2:42), teamed up with Kudermetova to certify the pass to the grand final, which will be the first his team has played since 2015, 12th in its history. In the duel in pairs, Kudermetova was sensational, lethal on serve and the rest, and feline to cross the net against Shelby Rogers and Coco Vandeweghe (double 6-3 in 1h14). “This is something very, very special,” Samsonova said.

The United States, which has only beaten Spain in the tournament, paid their bad doubles, since the group leaves Prague without having been able to win any game. The Americans were looking for the 31st classification in their history for the final, but They came without Serena Williams or their four best players in the WTA ranking (Kenin, Pegula, Gauff and Brady)And they didn’t have their best doubles player, Cathy McNally, either. Although they have plenty of tennis players in the top-100 with great potential, those who attended, with the exception of an accomplished Collins (3-0 in singles) fell short. At the opposite extreme, the Russian Federation, which brought in its top five, all within the top-40. Among other things, that’s why he’s in the final.

Results, standings and schedules of the Billie Jean King Cup Finals.

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