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By Chris Oddo | @TheFanChild | Sunday November 13, 2022

Billie Jean King Cup Switzerland

Last year's runner-ups took it a step further in 2022, defeating Australia to bring the BJK Cup to Switzerland for the first time.

Photo Source: Getty

Reduced to tears after a bitter loss to Russia in last year’s Billie Jean King Cup finals, there was a moment in the locker room that set the tone for an amazing response.

Tennis Express

Belinda Bencic, 2020 Olympic gold medalist and the team’s on-court leader, received some poignant words from one of the key cogs in the Swiss machine. It was Jil Tiechmann, sending a message that would reverberate in the Swiss locker room for the next year.

“We were finalists last year and we were so heartbroken,” Bencic said on court on Sunday after Switzerland had claimed its first ever BJK Cup title with a 2-0 win over Australia. “I don't think I ever cried so much. In the locker room, [Jil] came to me and she said, ‘Next year we're going to do it and we're going to take it,’ and we did, so I'm so incredibly proud.”

There was never any doubt that the Swiss would be motivated to return to the final in 2022, but the fact that they followed through on a promise and won the title in decisive fashion shows just how tight they are as a team, and how talented they are.

“It gave us extra motivation,” Bencic said with a smile.

“We don't fake it, we actually like each other,” Teichmann added, grinning ear to ear.

Both players made enormous contributions during the Billie Jean King Cup Finals, and both saved their best for last.

Teichmann, pushed to the brink by Australia’s Storm Sanders in Sunday’s first rubber, never gave up as she battled past Sanders 6-3, 4-6, 6-3 in a match that was tight until the finish.

Bencic, in particular, was feeling the tension as she watched from the sidelines while preparing for her match.

‘It was nerve racking,” she said. “I felt like I gave so much energy you know in Jil's match because I was trying to push her so much, because Storm was playing incredible, she was throwing everything at Jil and she stayed so strong. Every point, she just didn't go away and she refused to lose and just fought with everything she had.

“I was so proud and so inspired in a way and I just tried to do the same thing.”

Teichmann went 2-0 in singles during the week, winning both victories in tight three-setters – a testament to her grit and grace under pressure.

Bencic went 4-0 in singles, notching wins over Jasmine Paolini, Leylah Fernandez, Karolina Pliskova and Ajla Tomljavic, her victim in Sunday’s cup-clinching win, 6-2, 6-1.

Bencic, a woman on a mission if there ever was one, won all eight of her singles set and only dropped more than four games in a set twice.

On Sunday she needed 75 minutes to finish off Tomljanovic, as she broke six times from 12 opportunities and hit 14 winners against 13 unforced errors, against seven winners and 23 unforced errors for the Aussie.

Switzerland claims its first Billie Jean King Cup title in its third final appearance, while the Aussies remain seven-time champions in the “World Cup of women’s tennis.”

Swiss Captain Heinz Guenthardt says the victory, in the end, came down to a tightly knit group with an abundance of heart, willing to do whatever it took to prevail.

“It's hard to describe in words obviously,” Guenthardt said. “We didn't win this just today. It was this week he was actually over years of trying to get better and better and better at it. It was very close last year; this year was one better, but you saw how many close points there were–who knows why you win something or you lose something.

“A lot of it has to do with heart, and this team has a lot of heart, I tell you.”


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