Storm Sanders has recorded the biggest win of her singles career, beating world No.18 Elise Mertens in her Billie Jean King Cup debut.
Storm Sanders has scored the biggest singles win of her career, upsetting world No.18 Elise Mertens in a three-set contest at the Billie Jean King Cup Finals.
The stunning 3-6 7-6(5) 6-0 win gives Australian an unbeatable 2-0 lead in its round-robin tie with Belgium.
Playing her first match in the Billie Jean King Cup competition, the 27-year-old Sanders produced a fearless display.
The world No.131 hit 35 winners to record her third career victory against a top 50-ranked opponent – and first against a top-20 player.
“It feels absolutely amazing,” Sanders said. “I knew it was a tough ask coming out and playing Mertens, but I’ve played her before and felt like I knew her game.
“To do it in this moment, representing Australia, it is just the best feeling ever.”
Sanders blitzed through the final set, hitting 11 winners to two to emphatically clinch a memorable victory.
“I don’t think I’ve ever played a set that well in my life,” she beamed after the match. “I don’t think I made many unforced errors and was definitely hitting the ball well. I was just enjoying it and having fun out there.”
— Billie Jean King Cup (@BJKCup) November 2, 2021
Sanders’ victory follows Daria Gavrilova’s sensational return earlier today, upsetting world No.70 Greet Minnen 6-4 1-6 6-4 in her first professional match since February.
Australia will play Belarus in its second round-robin match on Thursday, needing victory to earn a place in the knockout semifinals.
Billie Jean King Cup Finals
AUSTRALIA defeats BELGIUM 2-0
Daria Gavrilova (AUS) d Greet Minnen (BEL) 6-4 1-6 6-4
Storm Sanders (AUS) d Elise Mertens (BEL) 3-6 7-6(5) 6-0
Storm Sanders/Ellen Perez (AUS) v Ysaline Bonaventure/Kirsten Flipkens (BEL)