MINSK, 1 November (BelTA) - The Billie Jean King Cup by BNP Paribas Finals (former Federation Cup) kicked off in Prague on 1 November with the participation of 12 world's best women's tennis teams, BelTA has learned.
In the Group B singles rubber world number 263 Iryna Shymanovich of Belarus lost to Belgium's world number 70 Greet Minnen, 2-6, 2-6. The match lasted for an hour and 10 minutes.
In the second rubber Belarus' world number 88 Aliaksandra Sasnovich will take on Belgium's world number 18 Elise Mertens.
In the doubles rubber Aliaksandra Sasnovich and Vera Lapko will face Kirsten Flipkens and Ysaline Bonaventure.
In the second tie on 4 November Belarus will play Australia. Belgium and Australia will play each other on 2 November. The winner of the group will face the best in Group D (the Czech Republic, Belgium and Switzerland) in the semifinal.
Today's matches in the other groups are:
Group A: France v Canada
Group C: Slovakia v Spain
Group D: Czech Republic v Germany
The Billie Jean King Cup is the largest international team competition in women's tennis. They are organized by the International Tennis Federation (ITF). Until September 2020, the competition was called the Federation Cup, but then it was renamed after the legendary U.S. tennis player.
Team Belarus has been playing in this tournament since 1994. The highest achievement of the Belarusian tennis players was reaching the finals in 2017, where they lost 2-3 to the United States in Minsk. The U.S. team has won 18 titles, the Czech Republic - 11 titles, and the Australians - 7 titles. In the decisive match in 2019, France beat Australia 3-2. Last season the tournament was not held due to the COVID-19 pandemic.