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Switzerland Billie Jean King Cup champions

by Alex Mann

Alex Mann is back with This Week in Tennis, and here he writes about Switzerland being Billie Jean King Cup champions and the ongoing ATP Finals.

Switzerland, Billie Jean King Cup Champions

Switzerland defeated 7-time champions Australia in the final to win their first Billie Jean King Cup.

In Glasgow, Jil Teichmann gave Switzerland an early lead, defeating Australian Storm Sanders, 6-3, 4-6, 6-3. Switzerland's number 1 player, Olympic Gold medalist Belinda Bencic secured the win for her nation, defeating Ajla Tomljanovic, 6-2, 6-1.

In the semi-final, Switzerland overcame the Czech Republic, who had won the competition five times in the past ten years. Viktorija Golubic defeated Karolina Muchova, while Bencic beat Karolina Pliskova to help Switzerland reach their first Billie Jean Cup final.

Tournament veterans, Australia knocked out this year’s hosts, Great Britain, 2-1 to reach their 19th Cup final. The British underdogs produced some excellent tennis to reach the semi-final stage. The team of Heather Watson, Harriet Dart, Alicia Barnett and Olivia Nicholls upset Spain, 3-0 to reach the semi-finals before tightly losing out to Australia 6-10 in the deciding set tie-break of the doubles.

Let’s leave the action in Glasgow and summarise the results from the Next Gen Finals in Milan, Italy.

Nakashima Wins the Next Gen Finals

Third seed, Brandon Nakashima defeated Czech, Jiri Lehecka to become the Next-Gen champion. Nakashima topped off his impressive year, which included reaching the fourth round of Wimbledon, by remaining unbeaten in the Finals and defeating some of the best young talents in tennis.

After winning all his group games, the American fought past the Brit, Jack Draper, to set up a meeting with Jiri Lehecka. In the final, Nakashima came back from a break down in the first set and saved two set points in the second to win the match in straight sets.

ATP Finals in Turin

This week has seen the first few matches of this year’s ATP Finals. The top eight ATP singles players will battle it out over the next week to be crowned the end-of-year champions.

Here are the top eight ATP players who have qualified for the end-of-year finals;

  1. Rafael Nadal
  2. StefanosTsitsipas
  3. Casper Ruud
  4. Daniil Medvedev
  5. FelixAuger-Aliassime
  6. Andrey Rublev
  7. Novak Djokovic
  8. Taylor Fritz

Defending champion Alexander Zverev has not qualified for this year’s tournament.

Format

The competition will be played in a round-robin format. The eight players have been split into two groups. Players compete against everyone in their group. The two players who finish top of their group will advance to the semi-final knockout stage and will face the second-placed player in the opposite group. The two players who win their semi-final match will then face off against each other in the final to be crowned the end-of-year champion.

The two round-robin groups are:

Green Group
Rafael Nadal
Casper Ruud
Felix Auger-Aliassime
Taylor Fritz

Red Group
Stefanos Tsitsipas
Daniil Medvedev
Andrey Rublev
Novak Djokovic

The first matches of this year’s tournament have been played. Casper Ruud defeated Felix Auger-Aliassime 7-6(4), 6-4. Taylor Fritz defeated Rafael Nadal 7-6(3), 6-1. Andrey Rublev defeated Daniil Medvedev 6-7(7), 6-3, 7-6(7). Novak Djokovic defeated Stefanos Tsitsipas 6-4, 7-6(4).

There have been some surprising results in the first set of the round-robin matches. So far, Djokovic has looked the most convincing, and if he can keep up the form he showed against Tsitsipas, he could be heading toward a sixth ATP Finals title.

Prediction – Djokovic to win

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