Pedro Luis Alonso
Saturday, 15 April 2023, 23:02
Spain have made it to the finals of the Billie Jean King Cup, the premier international team competition in women's tennis, after easily seeing off Mexico at the Puente Romano Tennis Club in Marbella on Friday and Saturday.
Spain, who were without Garbiñe Muguruza, who has been sidelined for a few months, and Paula Badosa nonetheless completed a comfortable 3-1 victory in this final qualifying round.
The team coached by Anabel Medina were the clear favourites in what was only the second ever meeting between the two countries. The only previous time they had faced each other was in the first round of this tournament (at that time called the Federation Cup) in Tokyo in 1981.
Spain built up a clear lead on the first day of action in Marbella, with Nuria Párrizas defeating Renata Zarazúa in the first game on Friday, 6-4 6-3.
Sara Sorribes then followed this up with a straightforward 6-0 6-0 win over Fernanda Contreras.
Today, Saturday 15 April, Párrizas beat Marcela Zacarías 6-3 6-0 to seal the decisive third point for Spain and wrap up the tie.
To complete the day, mainly for the spectators, the two teams agreed to play a fourth match (doubles). Mexico, who have one of the best players in the world in this discipline, Giuliana Olmos (sixth in the ranking), played alongside Zarazúa against the nationalised Aliona Bolsova (born in Moldova but raised in Palafrugell) and Rebeka Masarova (born in Basel, but with a Spanish mother).
The match ended in a 6-4, 6-7 (5), 7-10 defeat for the home side after the Spaniards squandered two match points in the second set.
Spain's place is now guaranteed for the finals of the tournament which will take place from 7 to 12 November, at a venue to be determined.
Twelve teams will take part, nine of which are the winners of the qualifiers played around the world this weekend, plus the two 2022 finalists (Switzerland and Australia) and the host (or guest, if it's a country that has already qualified).
To mark the fiftieth anniversary of Spain's debut in the competition, the Royal Spanish Tennis Federation paid tribute to all of the players who have represented the national team over the years.
Among the former players who attended over the weekend were Arantxa Sánchez Vicario, María José Martínez, Magüi Serna, Silvia Soler, Carmen Perea and Vicky Baldovinos.
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