Tight scheduling of Billie Jean King Cup stretches players to their limits

Excited, exhausted and anxious, players want to have that special experience of being in the Billie Jean King Cup but wonder if their energy will hold out to do it.

by GALE MOORMAN
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Tight scheduling of Billie Jean King Cup stretches players to their limits
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Many players were coming from Mexico or their hometown to Seville, Spain for the Billie Jean King Cup. It most likely will be the last tournament before vacation break for players who are needing it badly. But the King Cup is a team extravaganza and this may be the only saving grace the players have, to putting on a good performance for their country.

As the time continued on tour, the scheduling of tournaments and locations had gotten compromised to say the least. Some players decided to just call it quits and grab their vacation after the WTA Finals. There was a large number of players who bowed at the various earlier tournaments deciding to take their vacation weeks ago and prepare for the Billie Jean King Cup.

They may have been the glue that holds their team together, more rested and spirits lifted to participate. While higher ranking teammates just arriving from Cancun, were partially drained of energy and determination but still looked forward to the event.

In this event, countries play countries for the championship. The Australian team was running on less players than energy, may out due to injuries or tiredness from previous tournaments. Captain Alicia Mollik wonders how this will fare for Australia against stronger teams with more available players.

Australia's group isn't the only one concerned. The USA team are missing key players: Coco Gauff and Jessica Pegula who fought out the last leg of the WTA Finals with undesirable weather and tough competitors. Poland is indeed missing their newly ranked No.

1 again, Iga Swiatek who defeated 5 top 10 players including Coco Gauff and Jessica Pegula for the WTA Finals crown. The Czech team of Katerina Siniakova and Barbora Krejcikova has captured 7 doubles titles together leading with Wimbledon champ Marketa Vondrousova who downed the USA team of Danielle Collins, Sofia Kenin, Sloane Stephens and Taylor Townsend.

The USA group did win over Switzerland though, without their strong comrade Belinda Bencic who is expecting a baby. Previously the Billie Jean King Cup was the Fed Cup but many players and coaches agreed that despite it being a great event, the timing is horrific.

Fans and players, coaches and the tennis community agreed that it comes at a time participants aren't at their strongest. "This tournament should have been before the WTA Finals!" some fans had expressed. Everyone felt the pinch as the last event of the season is approaching.

Slovenia was overjoyed that they finished in the top of Group B with the best win-loss record. "It's pretty unbelievable that we're here," Slovenia's Kaja Juvan laughingly said. The opposing teams are tough even though tired but coming out par excellent is amazing.

Kaja had exclaimed that "I don't think any of us dreamed of the semifinal." Jessica Pegula, the WTA's no. 5 ranked was sorry to have missed representing her USA team and reflected on her year and the season to come. She admitted that there were about 4 players including herself who get bageled at the WTA Final by Iga Swiatek, a no-show at the Cup too.

"I'd much rather lose today in the final against the No. 1 player than to go out early, like I did last year...It's still an improvement...just trying to stay positive about my year and hopefully take that into next year."

Billie Jean King Cup Billie Jean King
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