Published: 10:48, April 14, 2024
Raducanu leads Britain to BJK Cup Finals after win over France
By Reuters
Emma Raducanu, of Great Britain, reacts as she plays Rebeka Masarova, of Spain, at the BNP Paribas Open tennis tournament, Thursday, March 7, 2024, in Indian Wells, Calif. (PHOTO / AP)

Former US Open winner Emma Raducanu completed a remarkable weekend as she beat France's Diana Parry to send Britain into the Billie Jean King Cup Finals in Le Portel on Saturday.

Raducanu, ranked 302nd in the world as she continues her comeback from double wrist surgery, withstood an incredible Parry fightback to seal a 4-6 6-1 7-6(1) win.

Katie Boulter had earlier beaten Clara Burel 7-5 6-0 to put Britain 2-1 ahead before Raducanu finished the job with her second impressive win of the tie.

Britain's first-ever win over France away was all the more notable as it was on clay which is a surface not ideally suited to either Boulter or Raducanu.

Raducanu, who has struggled with form and injuries since her fairytale US Open title in 2021, found an extra gear in the tiebreak to spark celebrations from the British contingent

They now go through to the 12-nation finals in Spain later in the year where they will be joined by the other winners from the weekend's qualifiers including Australia and Poland.

Australia were too strong for Mexico, winning 4-0, while Poland, with world number one Iga Swiatek posting a couple of singles wins, crushed Switzerland 4-0.

Slovakia beat Slovenia to book their place in Seville while Naomi Osaka's Japan beat Kazakhstan.

Last year's champions Canada, runners-up Italy, host nation Spain and wildcard Czechia, were already assured of their placed in the finals that will be held in Seville.

The 21-year-old Raducanu slipped a set behind against Parry but took control with some scintillating tennis to sweep through the second set and then move 5-2 ahead in the decider.

Parry saved two match points when Raducanu served at 5-3 and battled back to square the match and then failed to convert break points to lead 6-5 in the decider.

Raducanu, who has struggled with form and injuries since her fairytale US Open title in 2021, found an extra gear in the tiebreak to spark celebrations from the British contingent.

"Being a set down, I was backed up against a wall and I didn't want to go to the doubles because they're a very strong doubles team," Raducanu, who beat Caroline Garcia on Friday also from a set down to level the tie, said.

"Boults helped us go 2-1 up and (we had) the support on the bench to help us go out again. "It's a massive shout-out -- it is not just me out there."