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Spain’s Paula Badosa (pic) in action during her group stage match against Kazakhstan’s Elena Rybakina at the Emirates Arena, Glasgow November 9, 2022. — Reuters pic

Thursday, 10 Nov 2022 8:58 AM MYT

GLASGOW, Nov 10 — Paula Badosa won on her Billie Jean King Cup debut as she battled past Kazakhstan’s Elena Rybakina in three sets to secure victory for Spain in the Group C tie on Wednesday.

Badosa, currently ranked 13th in the world, won 6-2 3-6 6-4 over Rybakina, giving Spain a chance to go into the semi-finals if they win over Britain on Thursday.

Belinda Bencic led Switzerland to victory over Italy in their opening tie, while Slovakia bounced back from a tough loss to Australia to defeat Belgium and get their campaign back on track.

Olympic champion Bencic, the world number 12, saw off Jasmine Paolini 7-5 6-3 to secure the Group A tie for Switzerland after Jil Teichmann saved a match point en route to her thrilling 6-3 4-6 7-6(5) win over Elisabetta Cocciaretto.

Bencic returned to court half an hour later to team up with Teichmann and wrap up a flawless day for last year’s finalists as they beat Paolini and Martina Trevisan 7-6(5) 6-1 to complete a 3-0 sweep.

Earlier, Viktoria Kuzmova and Anna Karolina Schmiedlova won their singles ties to help secure a 2-1 victory over Belgium in their final Group B tie.

Kuzmova had lost to Ajla Tomljanovic on Wednesday but bagged a valuable doubles point with Tereza Mihalikova, and she carried that momentum into her powerful 6-2 7-6(7) win over Ysaline Bonaventure of Belgium.

Schmiedlova sealed the tie for Slovakia in a tenacious 5-7 6-2 6-3 win over Maryna Zanevska before the doubles pairing of Elise Mertens and Kirsten Flipkens got Belgium on the board with a crushing 6-0 6-3 win over Kuzmova and Mihalikova.

The competition, formerly called the Fed Cup, was renamed in honour of the 12-times American Grand Slam champion and restructured into a format concluding with 12 nations competing over one week for the title.

The United States will take on Poland in Group D later on Wednesday. — Reuters