Sport ITF announces Australia will replace Russia in Billie Jean King Cup finals
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ITF announces Australia will replace Russia in Billie Jean King Cup finals

Australia will replace the suspended Russian team for the Billie Jean King Cup finals. Photo: AP
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Australia has earned a Billie Jean King Cup promotion following the International Tennis Federation’s decision to ban last year’s winners Russia from teams competitions.

As the highest-ranked team among the 2021 losing semi-finalists, Australia will take Russia’s place in the finals, which are scheduled to be held in November.

After advancing from the group stage in Prague last year, Australia bowed out following losses in both singles rubbers in its semi-final against Switzerland.

Australia was due to compete in a Cup qualifier against Slovakia next month but the tie has been called off.

Slovakia will receive a bye and also advance directly to the finals, as will Belgium, which was scheduled to play Belarus.

Australia, Slovakia and Belgium will join 2021 runners-up Switzerland at the 2022 finals alongside the winning nations from the remaining seven qualifiers in April.

A host nation hasn’t been decided.

Russia was banned from defending its Davis Cup and Billie Jean King Cup titles following a February 24 invasion of Ukraine.

Belarus, a key staging area for the invasion that Russia says is a “special operation”, have also been banned from the international team competitions.