Illustrative photo – On October 7, 2021, the Billie Jean King Cup, a trophy for the winner of the Women's World Team Tennis Championship (formerly the Fed Cup), was exhibited in Prague's Harfa Gallery. On the left is the Billie Jean King Junior Cup winner's trophy.
Prague – The Czech women's tennis players will play a qualifier for the final tournament of the Billie Jean King Cup against Ukraine on neutral ground in Belek, Turkey. The international tennis federation ITF approved Ukraine's request to move the matches due to the war conflict with Russia. The information was confirmed by ČTK, the head of the Czech Tennis Association, Ivo Kaderka. It will be played on April 14 and 15 on clay.
Currently, Turkey is coping with the consequences of the earthquake, which has already claimed more than 31 thousand lives. All sporting events have been suspended until further notice following the disaster in the south-east of the country.
“Yes, we have already received the final confirmation,” said Kaderka. “This was preceded by intensive negotiations on the number of spectators in the auditorium, as the Ukrainians' plan was to play the match in an indoor environment for a maximum of one hundred fans. We did not accept this, as our team traditionally encourages a large number of spectators abroad. We have a guarantee that everyone who comes cheering from the Czech Republic, will have a guaranteed place in the audience. The support of the fans will be important. We have a very difficult match against a strong opponent,” Kaderka added.
Czech tennis players will play against Ukraine for the first time in the competition. The highest-ranked Ukrainian player in the WTA rankings is now Anhelina Kalinin, who is ranked 33rd. She is followed by Marta Kosťuková (55th) and Kateryna Baindlová (87th).
In the competition formerly known as the Fed Cup, captain Petr Pála's players made it to the semi-finals last year. At the final tournament in Glasgow, they first defeated Poland and the USA. In the semi-finals, however, they were not enough for the Swiss, who later won the entire competition.