Belgium in The Spotlight at The World Cup of Tennis

Billie Jean World Cup Belgium

How did they get in?

Due to Belarus’ extended suspension from all international team events until further notice, Belgium were scheduled to participate in April’s Billie Jean King Cup Qualifiers. However, Belgium were given a walkover and advanced to the Finals of the tournament instead.

The Belgian team participated in the Finals in Prague the year before, when they won their match against Belarus but were eliminated from further competition after suffering a defeat at the hands of Australia.

When it comes to the women’s tennis world cup, what is their previous record?

The names Kim Clijsters and Justine Henin are connected with Belgium’s previous success in the sport. In 2001, while the competition was still known as Fed Cup, the duo led the Belgians to their lone Billie Jean King Cup victory and helped them go to the final once more five years later.

The pair divided singles responsibilities to defeat Russia 21 years ago, but they came up just short in 2006 when Henin was forced to take the lead against Italy in the championship match while an ailing Clijsters could only watch from the stands.

Henin nearly completed the task by herself, defeating Flavia Pennetta and Francesca Shiavone in straight sets. Flipkens, however, lost both of her singles matches, and she eventually gave up when an injury she suffered during the decisive doubles match gave the Italians the victory.

After spending three years in Group I between 2014 and 2016, Belgium has had a rather uneventful history; nonetheless, they currently seem solidly entrenched among the top teams in the tournament.

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Player to keep an eye on

In Glasgow, Elise Mertens may be the key to Belgium’s chances of advancing from Group B, where they will compete against Australia and Slovakia. The world No. 30 is eager for another chance to play Australia this year. At the 2021 Finals in Prague, Mertens faltered in a decisive set against Storm Sanders; as a result, the Belgians were eliminated from the competition and Australia advanced to the semifinals.

In the WTA rankings, Ysaline Bonaventure and Maryna Zanevska are both rising; Bonaventure has the Top 100 in her sights while Zanevska has the Top 50 on her radar. The latter, who hasn’t played for the squad in five years, will be especially eager to impress because she hasn’t ever led her nation to a Billie Jean King Cup victory.

Potential narrative

For Johan Van Herck’s team, avenging their defeat to Australia from the previous year will be a top priority. The possibility of beating Slovakia a team with no players presently rated inside the top 100 in the world of singles and moving on to the semifinals should excite the Belgians.

They lost to the powerful Czech Republic in the competition’s semifinal round in Charleroi in 2011, therefore if they advance from the group, it will be their first semi-final appearance in eleven years.

Kristen Flipkens, a participant in that match, has participated in the Billie Jean King Cup for Belgium in all but two of the years since she made her debut in 2003, and if she steps onto the court, she might represent her country for an unprecedented 18th consecutive year.

Alison Van Uytvanck, who has a 15-12 win-loss record for her nation, would surpass Justine Henin (15-4) and into the Top 10 for the most victories for Belgium overall in the Billie Jean King Cup with any kind of success.

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