Swiss tennis star Belinda Bencic called out Russia Billie Jean King Cup team as she thought they pulled off a sneaky trick in the finals. In the opening rubber of the tie, Daria Kasatkina claimed a straight-set win over Jil Teichmann to give Russia an early lead.
World No. 12 Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova was projected to meet Bencic in the second rubber but she was replaced by Liudmila Samsonova 15 minutes before the start. Samsonova ended up stunning Bencic 3-6 6-3 6-4 to seal the title for Russia.
“I think it was ugly to be honest and I just think in the end I think the good will win and we will come back and we will win this title,” Bencic said, per Tennis Majors.
Swiss captain agrees with Bencic
“Well it unfolded slightly differently, since we were told 15 minutes before the tie started that they switched No.1 player for their No.4 player,” Heinz Guenthardt said.
“Now I don’t want to second-guess it but some people might say that’s a smart move, now that’s impossible – because either she actually injured herself, that would be unfortunate, or they did it on purpose, which would be cheating”.
Guenthardt didn't stop there as he had more to say. “The whole tournament has been held in a very good spirit. Did that throw us off? Yes it did,” Guenthardt said. He went on to praise the play of the Russian team, eventually, saying: “I have to say that they played really, really well – they were absolutely the better team.
In the second singles, Samsonova came up with the goods when she needed to. … I thought that Kasatkina played an excellent match – I didn’t look at the statistics but she basically gave nothing away. So yes they played extremely well and they absolutely deserved the win because they were on the day the better team”.