USA Tops Belgium 4 – 0 In 2024 Billie Jean King Cup

041324_24BJK Cup_SW_113

The United States took on Belgium in Lake Nona, FL, on April 12th and 13th, 2024 as part of the 2024 Billie Jean King Cup qualifier match to move into the final playoffs to be held in Seville, Spain in November 2024. Losing teams take part in playoffs to see who moves into the finals at that time.

The USA team, led by world’s singles #5 Jessica Pagula, #20 Madison Keys, and newcomer to the USA team, #21 Emma Navarro with first time coach Lindsay Davenport. For Doubles, #12 ranked Taylor Townsend and Caroline Dolehide. The Belgian team led by two 19-year-olds Hanne Vandewinkel and Sofia Costulas and with Marie Benoit and Kimberly Zimmerman for doubles.

Match play opened with Costulas taking on Pagula in the first match on April 12th. Pagula was pushed to three sets after losing the but eventually won 4-6, 6-2, 6-3. “I do not feel like I played my best, but was able to figure it out in the end.” Pagula commented during the post-match press conference.  Second match had newcomer Navarro taking on #278 Vandewinkel for the night cap. Navarro lost the first set 4-6 but avoided the upset and battled back to win 6-4, 6-3 at almost midnight to give the USA a 2-0 lead after the first day of play.

 Second day, opponents were reversed for USA and Belgium at 2 PM with Pagula leading off against Vandewinkel, who had little rest after her marathon match with Navarro hours earlier. Pagula hit 21 winners and easily dispatched Vandewinkel 6-2, 6-0 to give the USA the victory in the qualifier matchup and a spot in the final playoffs in Seville, Spain. Doubles had Taylor Townsend team up with Caroline Dolehide against Marie Benoit and Kimberly Zimmerman. USA easily won 6-3, 6-1.

Coverage and photos by Steve Worthy

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *