Tennis-Switzerland beat Australia to win first Billie Jean King Cup title

GLASGOW (Reuters) – Switzerland won their first Billie Jean King Cup title on Sunday after Belinda Bencic beat Australia’s Ajla Tomljanovic in straight sets in the second match of the finals to give them an unassailable 2-0 lead.

Jil Teichmann had earlier prevailed 6-3 4-6 6-3 over Storm Sanders in a thrilling contest to put Switzerland ahead before Olympic champion Bencic saw off Tomjlanovic 6-2 6-1 to clinch the best-of-three contest.

The teams also clashed in the semi-finals of last year’s event in Prague, where Teichmann overcame Sanders and Bencic defeated Tomljanovic before Switzerland went on to finish runners-up to Russia.

Olympic champion Bencic, who had not dropped a set all week, was in complete control against Tomljanovic and delivered a commanding performance, swiftly wrapping up victory in an hour and 15 minutes.

In a brilliant battle between two left handers, Teichmann dominated affairs in the first set but Sanders, struggling with a leg injury and needing courtside treatment, twice rallied from a break down in the second in a stirring revival.

A fatigued Sanders gifted Teichmann the key break for 3-2 in a game that lasted 11 minutes before the Swiss saw out a hard-fought victory in two hours and 18 minutes.

Seven-times winners Australia, looking for their first title since 1974, had also missed out in 2019, when they were beaten by France in Perth.

(Reporting by Hritika Sharma in Bengaluru. Editing by Jane Merriman and Toby Davis)

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