Australian captain Alicia Molik has vowed to “get back and go one better” after being defeated in the final of the Billie Jean King Cup for the second time in four years.
Seeking a first win in the team competition, previously known as the Federation Cup and Fed Cup since 1974, Molik’s team were soundly defeated in the final 2-0 by Switzerland in Sunday’s showdown in Scotland.
It was a repeat of last year’s semi-final that was dominated by the Swiss as both Australian No.1 Ajla Tomljanovic and Storm Sanders, who had produced some serious heroics in the event, lost their singles clashes at the Emirates Arena.
Tomljanovic was no match for world No.12 Belinda Bencic in a 6-2 6-1 defeat that ended Australia’s chances of victory following Sanders’ 6-3 4-6 6-3 loss to fellow left-hander Jil Teichmann.
“We want to get back and go one better,” Molik said after the defeat.
“We’ve had two finals in four years and you have to keep chipping away, you can’t be despondent.”
With the doubles not needed, Australian veteran Sam Stosur missed the chance to win a title she has spent 19 years trying to capture.
Despite the loss, Molik praised the “heroic” efforts of Sanders who had spent more than 11 hours on court during the event, including two hours and 27 minutes in the final clash.
“It was heroic. An example was the crowd when Storm went up to collect her medal; they recognised a great fighter, she left everything out there,” Molik said.
Australia‘s hopes then rested with No.1 Tomljanovic, but as in the semi-final last year, she was outplayed by Olympic champion Bencic, who sealed a first win in the event for her nation.