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    Australia make flying start at Billie Jean King Cup

    GLASGOW (AFP) – Australia made a strong start to their Billie Jean King Cup Finals campaign as Ajla Tomljanovic and Storm Sanders sealed a 2-1 victory against Slovakia on the opening day of the tournament.

    Billed as the world cup of women’s tennis, the Billie Jean King Cup Finals kicked off on Tuesday with Australia once again contenders for the title at Glasgow’s Emirates Arena.

    After reaching the semi-finals last year and finishing as runners-up in the competition’s previous Fed Cup format in 2019, the Australians brushed aside Slovakia to show they will be in the hunt for the trophy.

    Alicia Molik’s team, who have taken the place of banned 2021 champions Russia, won both singles matches in the Group B tie.

    Sanders defeated Viktoria Kuzmova 6-4, 6-3, while Tomljanovic beat Anna Karolina Schmiedlova 6-1, 6-2.

    Slovakia’s Kuzmova and Tereza Mihalikova saw off Sanders and Ellen Perez 2-6, 6-3, 10/6 in the dead rubber doubles.

    The 12-team event comprises four groups of three countries, with each winner advancing to the semi-finals. Each group tie consists of two singles matches and one doubles.

    Australia can book their place in the semi-finals with a victory in their next tie against Belgium today.

    “We have such a good team spirit,” Tomljanovic said.

    Australia’s Ajla Tomljanovic serves to Slovakia’s Anna Karolina Schmiedlova during the Billie Jean King Cup finals. PHOTO: AP
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