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TENNIS AUSTRALIA • Billie Jean King Cup Players • Ajla Tomljanovic, Astra Sharma, Storm Sanders, Olivia Gadecki and Ellen Perez

Ajla Tomljanovic of Australia in action against Karolina Pliskova of the Czech Republic during their match on the sixth day of the US Open Tennis Championships the USTA National Tennis Center in Flushing Meadows, New York, USA, 04 September 2021. The US Open runs from 30 August through 12 September. EPA-EFE/JOHN G. MABANGLO

Australian team captain Alicia Molik has revealed the team set to compete in the Billie Jean King Cup Finals from 1-6 November at O2 Arena in Prague, Czech Republic.

World No.47 Ajla Tomljanovic (Qld)will lead West Australians [102] Astra Sharma and [124] Storm Sanders alongside debutants Ellen Perez (NSW) and 19-year-old Olivia Gadecki (Qld).

“We are thrilled to be back representing Australia in the Billie Jean King Cup,” Alicia Molik said.

“It was a tremendous effort to reach the final in the last Fed Cup held in 2019 and we can’t wait to get back out there as a team to compete for Australia against the world’s best nations.

“Ajla has had an incredible year and this is a great opportunity for her to lead the team. Storm and Astra are both tremendous team players and it’s exciting to welcome Ellen and Olivia to the team for the first time.

“Representing your country is a huge honour and always brings out the best in our team. It was an incredible effort to reach the final of the Fed Cup in 2019, and I’m expecting the team to bring the same grit to do our country proud in Prague,” Molik continued.

Ajla Tomljanovic (Qld) recorded eight singles wins in her career-best Grand Slam season, reaching the Wimbledon quarterfinals and US Open third round, and made the second round in her Olympic Games debut. In November 2019, Tomljanovic played a key role in the Fed Cup final in 2019, notching her first win for the country.

Astra Sharma (WA) won her first WTA singles title in Charleston in April and her second WTA doubles title in Guadalajara partnering Ellen Perez. Sharma was twice named in the Fed Cup team in 2019.

Storm Sanders (WA) has also had a stellar year, achieving a career-high singles ranking of No.123 in September and is currently at career-high No.32 in doubles. Sanders has scored five top-100 singles wins in 2021, and made the women’s doubles quarterfinals in her Olympic debut with Ash Barty, and two Grand Slam doubles semifinals in a breakout season.

The team will feature two debutants in [234] Olivia Gadecki and [236] Ellen Perez.

.Ellen Perez of Australia.

Gadecki kick started a stellar season with a victory against world No.4 Sofia Kenin, as an unranked wildcard at the Melbourne Summer Series in February. The up-and-comer from the Gold Coast has since claimed two ITF singles and five ITF doubles titles alone this year to secure a position in Australia’s top 10 women in both singles and doubles.

Wollongong’s Ellen Perez, currently world No.44 in doubles has reached three WTA doubles finals and won a title in Guadalajara alongside Sharma. Perez also made the doubles quarterfinals with Sam Stosur in her Olympic debut and qualified for the Wimbledon singles main draw.

Billie Jean King Cup Finals information

Australia has been named in Group B alongside Belarus and Belgium. The event format will be a round robin with group winners to face off in the semifinals for a place in the final. Each tie consists of two singles and one doubles match. The full list of team nominations is available here. World No.18 Elise Mertens and world No.32 Victoria Azarenka will lead Belgium and Belarus respectively.

Group A Group B Group C Group D
[1] France [2] Australia [3] USA [4] Czech Republic
Russian Tennis Federation Belarus Spain Germany
Canada Belgium Slovakia Switzerland

The draw for the Billie Jean King Cup Finals is as follows:

  • Winner of Group A vs. winner of Group C
  • Winner of Group B vs. winner of Group D
  • Final: Winner of each respective semifinal

The ITF have released the schedule for the Billie Jean King Cup Finals. Australia will face Belgium on Tuesday 2 November, followed by Belarus on Thursday 4 November. The semifinals will be played on Friday 5 November before the final is held on Saturday 6 November.

The two finalists in Prague will qualify automatically for the 2022 Finals. The nations that finish in 3rd-12th positions will contest the 2022 Qualifiers. These teams will also be eligible to receive a wildcard into the 2022 Finals, along with the winners of the 2021 Play-offs.

The finals were originally scheduled to take place in Budapest, Hungary in April 2020 and were postponed twice during the pandemic before Prague was announced as the new host city. The Czech Republic has hosted a number of successful finals of the competition over the past 10 years.