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Billie Jean King Cup: Tennis: Swiss women are world champions

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Billie Jean King CupTennis: Swiss women are world champions

After two finals and a last decade crossing so close to the feat, the Swiss are finally world champions!

Belinda Bencic is world team champion, after her Olympic title in Tokyo.

Getty Images for LTA

It is done! The Swiss team won the 59th edition of the Billie Jean King Cup. Eight years after Lille’s triumph, Swiss tennis is once again crowned “world champion” and it owes it to a team that has patiently built itself. Belinda Bencic the boss, Jil Teichmann the strategist, Viktorija Golubic the aesthete, Simona Waltert the great last, and the “old fox” Heinz Günthardt, such is the quintet which entered the history books, this Sunday evening by donning the “Billie Blue Jacket” in the Emirates Arena in Glasgow. But beyond these five personalities, this triumph is above all that of a team. A real.

“With us, the Fed Cup lives on in people’s minds all year round, Heinz Günthardt told us in the spring of 2017, just before a lost semi-final in Minsk. We talk on the chat, the girls train together, support each other. They are in the right frame of mind. That’s why I feel comfortable asking every time “are you ready to play?”. The girls are very honest with each other. Everyone plays for the team.” A unit that gives strength and allows the captain to make the right choices.

Bencic, leader implacable

This week in Glasgow, Günthardt bet on the solidity of Teichmann during the matches that “had to be won” (Italy, Australia), then he chose the audacity of Golubic to invent the decisive exploits against Andreescu (Canada) and Muchova (Czech Republic). A flair made decisive also because the Swiss team could count on an implacable leader. In Scotland, Belinda Bencic behaved like an Olympic champion, showing off that inner strength that gives her another dimension when she plays for bigger than herself.

This Sunday again, the Saint-Galloise left no chance for Ajla Tomljanovic (WTA 33). The Australian is one of the best waitresses on the circuit but she did not exist against a “Beli” who had put “Djoko” in each of her 6-2, 6-1 comebacks. After the defeat in the final against Russia last year, the sublime and traumatic one in Geneva in 1998, the Swiss team finally holds the most beautiful of team titles. A triumph that comes to greet a decade of a superb collective project, to which we must associate Martina Hingis, Patty Schnyder and Timea Bacsinszky, “big sisters” of a long and beautiful journey that ends in apotheosis.

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