Glasgow, UK – Australia and Kazakhstan won the first day of the Billie Jean King Cup, the premier team competition in women’s tennis.
Australia, seeking their first title in the tournament in 48 years, beat Slovakia 2-1 in Group B play thanks to singles wins from Storm Sanders and Ajla Tomljanovic.
Later, Yulia Putintseva and defending Wimbledon champion Elina Rybakina won their respective singles matches to give Kazakhstan a 2-0 lead in a Group C clash against hosts Great Britain.
Over the course of its history, Australia has won the tournament’s top honor seven times. All these victories were achieved between 1964 and 1974.
Saunders beat Victoria Kuzmova 6-4, 6-3, while Tomljanovic beat Anna Karolina Schmidlova 6-1, 6-2 in Glasgow, Scotland.
Kuzmova teamed with Teresa Mihalikova to beat Saunders and Ellen Perez in doubles.
In another match, Putintseva defeated Katie Boulder 4-6, 6-3, 6-2. Rybakina, ranked 22nd in the world, beat Harriet Dart 6-1, 6-4.
Twelve countries, divided into four groups, participate in the tournament. In Group A, Canada faces Italy on Thursday and Switzerland on Friday. Each clash includes two bouts in singles and one in doubles.
The winners of the four divisions will advance to Saturday’s semi-finals. The grand finale will be held on Sunday.
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