American women’s team looks to make Billie Jean King Cup final in Spain

Team USA will have its first opportunity to reach the Billie Jean King Cup final in six years when it plays a semifinal tie against the Russia team Tuesday in Spain.

The Americans, who have never won the women’s tennis championship, won both team matches Sunday for a 7-1 record in Pool A.

“It’s a great opportunity, and it’s not a lot of money,” said Chris Evert, the captain of the team featuring the winless Madison Keys. “It’s two team events this year.”

Billie Jean King owns the men’s tournament, which features players who are not part of the Grand Slams. The women play their matches in Seville, Spain, which will return next year.

The winner of each match advances to a tournament in Mumbai from Oct. 21-27, where players in singles and doubles will be grouped into “power” and “analytical” teams. A winning team advances to the final Nov. 1.

The Russian team comprises Nadia Petrova, Elena Vesnina, Ekaterina Makarova and Serena Williams.

Keys will play top-seeded Vesnina in a match that had been scheduled for last Monday, but was postponed. The Americans used an indoor court at the team hotel on Monday as practice.

Next comes No. 8 Elena Vesnina, Vesnina’s sister, who beat teammate Martina Hingis, who won the mixed doubles title last year in Spain. Makarova, who fell to Williams in the quarterfinals of the Australian Open, plays No. 5 Eugenie Bouchard.

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