Swiatek And Osaka To Lead Their Nations On Day One Of 2024 Billie Jean King Cup Qualifiers

Iga Swiatek (photo: Christian Kaspar-Bartke/Getty Images for ITF)

ITF Press Release, April 11, 2024

Four-time Grand Slam champions Iga Swiatek and Naomi Osaka will look to give their nations the advantage on day one of the 2024 Billie Jean King Cup by Gainbridge Qualifiers.

Swiatek will take on Simona Waltert in Poland’s away tie against Switzerland in Biel while Osaka faces an intriguing clash with Yulia Putintseva in Japan’s match-up with Kazakhstan in Tokyo.

“I know how [Waltert] plays a little bit but, tactically, I need to prepare as we haven’t met on WTA,” said Swiatek. “It’s never easy to play as a guest because the whole stadium is going to be cheering for Switzerland, but I’m ready to do my job. I’m going to focus on myself.”

Osaka said: “It has definitely been a while since I played in Japan [September 2022] and I would say the type of play I would like to show everyone is something really sane. When I was younger, I tried to hit a lot of crazy shots, but now I am a little bit more strategic. I hope that it is fun for everyone to watch but I am not going to do anything crazy tomorrow or on Saturday. I am really excited to be back in the team atmosphere.”

Elsewhere, Caroline Garcia and Emma Raducanu will contest a blockbuster opening day match as France host Great Britain in Le Portel.

“We’re feeling good, we’ve had good preparation. Emma Raducanu is a good player, and she’s proved in the past that she’s got a lot of potential. It’s a great match to play, with a lot of intensity. It’s up to the player who imposes her game,” Garcia said.

Australia must overcome a late injury to Storm Hunter as they face Mexico in Brisbane and 2023 semi-finalists Slovenia will look to continue their strong recent form in an away tie against Slovakia in Bratislava.

In Sao Paolo, Beatriz Haddad Maia spearheads Brazil’s quest for a first Billie Jean King Cup Finals appearance in her nation’s home tie against Germany. And there are two ties taking place in Florida, with Jessica Pegula and Emma Navarro lining up for USA against Belgium in Orlando, and Elina Svitolina‘s Ukraine facing Romania in Fernandina Beach.