Italy secured a 2-0 victory over Slovenia in Seville on Saturday, advancing to the Billie Jean King Cup final and remaining in contention for their fifth crown in the team competition. Jasmine Paolini defeated Tamara Zidansek, while Martina Trevisan beat Kaja Juvan to contribute to Italy’s win.
In the second singles clash, Paolini faced a challenge midway through the match but managed to overcome Zidansek with a 6-2, 4-6, 6-3 victory. This result propelled Italy to the title clash and sparked jubilant celebrations from Italian fans at the Estadio de la Cartuja.
Despite trailing 2-0 in the decider, Paolini quickly regained her rhythm and dashed the hopes of Slovenia, who were the lowest-ranked team in the competition and first-time semi-finalists.
Earlier in the event, Trevisan set Italy on the path to the final with a hard-fought 7-6(6), 6-3 win over Juvan, who is ranked 104th in the world. Trevisan, ranked 43rd, battled back from a 3-1 deficit in the second set and secured the decisive break in the eighth game, sealing the victory in two hours and 20 minutes.
Reflecting on the match, Trevisan acknowledged the challenges they faced and the significance of their achievement. Italy’s last triumph in the competition was a decade ago, and they now have the opportunity to compete for the title once again.
In the upcoming title clash, Italy may face tough competition from the Czech Republic, who have won the tournament 11 times. The Czech Republic defeated the 18-time champions, the United States, in the previous round. The second semi-final will feature the Czech Republic against Canada, a team yet to win the tournament.
Overall, Italy’s victory in the semi-final marks their first appearance in this stage of the competition since 2014. The team has shown resilience and determination, and they will be eager to claim the title after a decade-long wait.
Reporting by Shrivathsa Sridhar in Bengaluru; Editing by Hugh Lawson
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