Emma Raducanu reveals ‘I had a good feeling’ as she leads GB to stunning BJK Cup victory

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Emma Raducanu revealed she had a “good feeling about the confidence” of Great Britain’s Billie Jean King Cup as she led her nation to a stunning triumph over France.

Britain were widely considered underdogs against a French side that had greater strength and depth within their squad and had the advantage of playing at home on the clay in Le Portel.

But the tie was level at 1-1 by the end of Friday, with Raducanu stunning world No 23 Caroline Garcia in three sets after Katie Boulter had suffered a heavy loss to Diane Parry.

And, after Boulter claimed a 7-5, 6-0 win over late call-up Clara Burel, Raducanu battled past Parry 4-6, 6-1, 7-6(1) on Saturday to seal a 3-1 triumph for Anne Keothavong’s side.

Raducanu had only played once in the competition previously and there were doubts about how well she would perform amid her ongoing comeback from long-term injury.

But there can be no doubt that Raducanu has cemented herself as a big-time player after two thrilling, crucial victories, and afterwards she paid credit to her team for getting her into a perfect place physically.

“To be able to put two matches like that back-to-back, three sets and on clay against really tough opponents, it’s just a testament to the work we’ve been doing,” Raducanu told the BBC. “I knew it would pay off eventually, so I’m very pleased that this weekend it was able to show.

“On Thursday before the tie, we said how tough this would be but honestly I had a good feeling about the confidence of our team.

“We have a very strong team and I am really pleased to have been able to score two points, but it helped so much having Boults this morning lead us to go 2-1 up.

“And obviously everyone on the bench and the support staff, they’ve been working around the clock to keep us fit and get us back on court because we finished pretty late last night.

“So, it’s a massive shout out. It’s not just me and Boults – it was everyone.”

A memorable victory for Great Britain means they have sealed their spot at the upcoming Billie Jean King Cup Finals, to be held this November in Seville.

Britain failed to qualify for the Finals last year – losing to France in Coventry – but were surprise semi-finalists the previous year in Glasgow.

In total 12 teams will contest the Finals with four nations – hosts Spain, defending champions Canada, 2023 finalists Italy, and wildcards Czechia – all guaranteed a spot.

Alongside Great Britain, the likes of Japan – led by Naomi Osaka – and Poland – led by Iga Swiatek – have now sealed their place in the Finals.

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