‘An incredible year’ to remember as Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova delight in Billie Jean King Cup glory with Russia

Billie Jean King Cup glory for Russia

The 2021 campaign will live long in the memory of Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova as Russia lifted the Billie Jean King Cup after a 13-year drought.

Russia defeated Switzerland 2-0 in the final on Saturday with Daria Kasatkina beating Jil Teichmann 6-2, 6-4 before Liudmila Samsonova edged Belinda Bencic 3-6, 6-3, 6-4 to give Russia their first Cup since 2008.

It capped off a brilliant year for Pavlyuchenkova as she also reached her first Grand Slam final, losing against Barbora Krejcikova at Roland Garros, and won the mixed doubles gold medal alongside Andrey Rublev at the Tokyo Olympics.

“It’s an incredible year, I couldn’t have imagined that I would finish this amazing year on this note because it was incredible. Olympic medal, first Grand Slam final, and I couldn’t imagine I would finish with this medal here,” Pavlyuchenkova said.

“It’s funny that [captain] Igor [Andreev] remembered Poland [in 2019}, where we were really low, playing the group zone matches, we weren’t even in the World Group and I came there after the Australian Open and the only thing, I swear, I had in mind, ‘I want so badly to win the World Cup with the girls with the team’, but I thought it’s so far ahead.

“So we started there and it’s an incredible journey and I’m so grateful for my year.”