Naomi Osaka, Emma Raducanu qualify for Billie Jean King Cup Finals

Naomi Osaka, Emma Raducanu qualify for Billie Jean King Cup FinalsNaomi Osaka, Emma Raducanu qualify for Billie Jean King Cup Finals
via International Tennis Federation, EverythingTennis
Bryan Ke
April 15, 2024
Japan’s Naomi Osaka and English tennis star Emma Raducanu have secured their respective countries’ qualifying spots for the Billie Jean King Cup (BJKC) Finals on Friday and Saturday.
Key points:
  • Osaka, 26, delivered 15 aces, securing a score of 6-2, 7-6 (5) against Kazakhstan’s Yulia Putintseva, 29, at the Ariake Coliseum in Tokyo on Friday. Japan’s final score was 3-1, with the loss coming from a women’s doubles match where Kazakhstan defeated Japan 7-6, 3-6, 11-9.
  • Raducanu, 21, pushed Great Britain to the Billie Jean King Cup Finals after defeating 21-year-old French player Diane Parry 4-6, 6-1, 7-6 (7-1) at the Le Chaudron in Le Portel, France, on Saturday. Raducanu also beat Caroline Garcia earlier in the qualifier. Great Britain came out on top on Friday with a final score of 3-1.
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The details:

  • Speaking to BJKC after her win, Osaka admitted that she was “super nervous” before and during her match “because I hadn’t played in Japan and I really wanted to do well. I think the atmosphere and the routine helped me a lot.”
  • Osaka added that it was a special feeling for her to “come out and to see the Japanese flags everywhere and I did feel a lot of extra motivation.”
  • Meanwhile, Raducanu told BBC that she felt like she played the best tennis of her career and life. She added, “To come through the moments that I did the last two days it took a strong character when the whole stadium is pretty much against you.”
  • Great Britain’s tennis captain Anne Keothavong praised Raducanu’s drive during the qualifiers, telling BBC, “I thought Emma today showed real star quality with her performance. She was able to regroup after the initial disappointment. It was just amazing.”
  • The BJKC Finals are scheduled to be held in Seville, Spain, from Nov. 12-17. Japan and Great Britain are among the eight countries that qualified for the finals, with the six others being Australia, Poland, Germany, Slovakia, Romania and the United States.
  • The eight qualified teams will join the two 2023 finalists, Canada and runner-up Italy, as well as the host nation Spain and the wild card pick, the Czech Republic, to form the 12 teams who will be competing in the finals.
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