Australia beats Britain, into final of Billie Jean King Cup

Storm Sanders, right, and Samantha Stosur of Australia gesture as they play Alicia Barnett and Olivia Nicholls of Britain, during the semi-finals match, of the Billie Jean King Cup tennis tournament, at the Emirates Arena in Glasgow, Scotland, Saturday, Nov. 12, 2022. (Kin Cheung/AP)

GLASGOW, Scotland (AP) — Australia reached the final of the biggest team event in women’s tennis for the 19th time after winning the decisive doubles on a match tiebreaker to beat Britain 2-1 in the Billie Jean King Cup on Saturday.

Storm Sanders had already put a point on the board for the Australians with an opening singles win and she then partnered Sam Stosur to a 7-6 (1), 6-7 (5), 10-6 victory over Alicia Barnett and Olivia Nicholls in a nerve-racking doubles match in Glasgow.

In Sunday’s title match, Australia will play the winner of the second semifinal between the Czech Republic and Switzerland taking place later Saturday.

Sanders beat Heather Watson 6-4, 7-6 (3) before Britain fought back through Harriet Dart, who won 7-6 (3), 6-2 against Ajla Tomljanovic.

Britain was in the semifinals for the first time since 1981, surpassing pre-event expectations.

Australia, the top-ranked women’s team, will head into the final looking to win the event formerly known as the Fed Cup for an eighth time — and first time since 1974. The Australians lost in the final in 2019.

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