Jasmine Paolini and Martina Trevisan sealed Team Italy's place in the final of the 2023 Billie Jean King Cup Finals in Seville, Spain, defeating Kaja Juvan and Tamara Zidansek from Team Slovenia in their semi-final clash.
Up first, World No. 43 Trevisan faced Slovenia's Juvan. The Italian player emerged victorious in straight sets, 7-6, 6-3. Throughout the match, Trevisan had an answer to everything and demonstrated strong court coverage, making it difficult for Juvan to keep up. As a result, Italy went 1-0 up in the tie.
Next up, World No. 30 and Italian No. 1 Paolini went up against Zidansek. The Italian started the match strongly, dominating the first set to win it 6-2. However, her opponent fought back hard in the second set to put Team Italy in a bit of trouble as Zidansek won and consolidated an early break.
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Paolini fights back from the brink to secure Italy's place in final
Zidansek then went on to maintain her lead, using her powerful forehand to keep Paolini from fighting back. As a result, it wasn't long before the Slovenian player successfully served for the set, keeping her country in with a chance of making the final.
This momentum continued into the start of the decider when Zidansek achieved another break in Paolini's first service game. However, the Italian showed more aggression this time around and built up three break points in the next game. Although Zidansek was still able to consolidate the break, Paolini was far from giving up and pushed back throughout the set.
Ultimately, Paolini was able to break back before breaking again for a 5-3 lead. She then soared to two match points. This comeback made it all the more emotional when she converted these into a win, booking her Team's place in the final without having to rest their chances on doubles.
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This marks Team Italy's sixth time in the Billie Jean King Cup Final and their first time since 2013. They will face the winner of the semi-final tie between Team Czechia and Team Canada, led by Marketa Vondrousova and Leylah Fernandez respectively.