Finals
Seville, Spain
Flag for Spain Spain
vs
Flag for Poland Poland
13 November 2024
Seville, Spain
Flag for Japan Japan
vs
Flag for Romania Romania
14 November 2024
Seville, Spain
Flag for Slovakia Slovakia
vs
Flag for USA USA
14 November 2024
Seville, Spain
Flag for Germany Germany
vs
Flag for Great Britain Great Britain
15 November 2024
Africa III
Nairobi, Kenya Upcoming
Flag for South Africa South Africa
vs
Flag for Kenya Kenya
Nairobi, Kenya Upcoming
Flag for Mauritius Mauritius
vs
Flag for Uganda Uganda
Nairobi, Kenya Upcoming
Flag for Zimbabwe Zimbabwe
vs
Flag for Burundi Burundi
Nairobi, Kenya Upcoming
Flag for Tunisia Tunisia
vs
Flag for Madagascar Madagascar
Nairobi, Kenya Completed
Flag for South Africa South Africa
3 : 0
Flag for Namibia Namibia
10 June 2024
Nairobi, Kenya Completed
Flag for Zimbabwe Zimbabwe
2 : 1
Flag for Madagascar Madagascar
10 June 2024
Nairobi, Kenya Completed
Flag for Kenya Kenya
3 : 0
Flag for Mauritius Mauritius
10 June 2024
Nairobi, Kenya Completed
Flag for Tunisia Tunisia
1 : 2
Flag for Burundi Burundi
10 June 2024
Nairobi, Kenya Completed
Flag for Ghana Ghana
1 : 2
Flag for Botswana Botswana
10 June 2024
Nairobi, Kenya Completed
Flag for Nigeria Nigeria
3 : 0
Flag for Uganda Uganda
10 June 2024
Nairobi, Kenya Completed
Flag for South Africa South Africa
3 : 0
Flag for Madagascar Madagascar
11 June 2024
Nairobi, Kenya Completed
Flag for Zimbabwe Zimbabwe
3 : 0
Flag for Namibia Namibia
11 June 2024
Nairobi, Kenya Completed
Flag for Mauritius Mauritius
0 : 3
Flag for Burundi Burundi
11 June 2024
Nairobi, Kenya Completed
Flag for Tunisia Tunisia
1 : 2
Flag for Kenya Kenya
11 June 2024
Nairobi, Kenya Completed
Flag for Botswana Botswana
3 : 0
Flag for Uganda Uganda
11 June 2024
Nairobi, Kenya Completed
Flag for Nigeria Nigeria
3 : 0
Flag for Ghana Ghana
11 June 2024
Nairobi, Kenya Completed
Flag for Madagascar Madagascar
3 : 0
Flag for Namibia Namibia
12 June 2024
Nairobi, Kenya Completed
Flag for South Africa South Africa
2 : 1
Flag for Zimbabwe Zimbabwe
12 June 2024
Nairobi, Kenya Completed
Flag for Kenya Kenya
2 : 1
Flag for Burundi Burundi
12 June 2024
Nairobi, Kenya Completed
Flag for Tunisia Tunisia
3 : 0
Flag for Mauritius Mauritius
12 June 2024
Nairobi, Kenya Completed
Flag for Ghana Ghana
3 : 0
Flag for Uganda Uganda
12 June 2024
Nairobi, Kenya Completed
Flag for Nigeria Nigeria
2 : 1
Flag for Botswana Botswana
12 June 2024
Nairobi, Kenya Completed
Flag for Nigeria Nigeria
2 : 1
Flag for Kenya Kenya
13 June 2024
Nairobi, Kenya Completed
Flag for Namibia Namibia
2 : 1
Flag for Uganda Uganda
13 June 2024
Nairobi, Kenya Completed
Flag for Botswana Botswana
2 : 1
Flag for Burundi Burundi
13 June 2024
Nairobi, Kenya Completed
Flag for Ghana Ghana
0 : 3
Flag for Madagascar Madagascar
13 June 2024
Nairobi, Kenya Upcoming
Flag for South Africa South Africa
vs
Flag for Nigeria Nigeria
14 June 2024
Nairobi, Kenya Upcoming
Flag for Mauritius Mauritius
vs
Flag for Namibia Namibia
14 June 2024
Nairobi, Kenya Upcoming
Flag for Zimbabwe Zimbabwe
vs
Flag for Botswana Botswana
14 June 2024
Nairobi, Kenya Upcoming
Flag for Tunisia Tunisia
vs
Flag for Ghana Ghana
14 June 2024
Africa IV
Kigali, Rwanda Completed
Flag for Cameroon Cameroon
3 : 0
Flag for Lesotho Lesotho
10 June 2024
Kigali, Rwanda Completed
Flag for Rwanda Rwanda
1 : 2
Flag for Togo Togo
10 June 2024
Kigali, Rwanda Completed
Flag for Algeria Algeria
3 : 0
Flag for Angola Angola
10 June 2024
Kigali, Rwanda Completed
Flag for Tanzania Tanzania
3 : 0
Flag for Mozambique Mozambique
10 June 2024
Kigali, Rwanda Completed
Flag for Ethiopia Ethiopia
0 : 3
Flag for Togo Togo
11 June 2024
Kigali, Rwanda Completed
Flag for Rwanda Rwanda
3 : 0
Flag for Lesotho Lesotho
11 June 2024
Kigali, Rwanda Completed
Flag for Algeria Algeria
3 : 0
Flag for Mozambique Mozambique
11 June 2024
Kigali, Rwanda Completed
Flag for Congo, Dem. Rep. Congo, Dem. Rep.
3 : 0
Flag for Angola Angola
11 June 2024
Kigali, Rwanda Completed
Flag for Cameroon Cameroon
1 : 2
Flag for Togo Togo
12 June 2024
Kigali, Rwanda Completed
Flag for Ethiopia Ethiopia
0 : 3
Flag for Rwanda Rwanda
12 June 2024
Kigali, Rwanda Completed
Flag for Angola Angola
0 : 3
Flag for Mozambique Mozambique
12 June 2024
Kigali, Rwanda Completed
Flag for Tanzania Tanzania
3 : 0
Flag for Congo, Dem. Rep. Congo, Dem. Rep.
12 June 2024
Kigali, Rwanda Completed
Flag for Cameroon Cameroon
2 : 1
Flag for Ethiopia Ethiopia
13 June 2024
Kigali, Rwanda Completed
Flag for Lesotho Lesotho
0 : 3
Flag for Togo Togo
13 June 2024
Kigali, Rwanda Completed
Flag for Congo, Dem. Rep. Congo, Dem. Rep.
1 : 2
Flag for Mozambique Mozambique
13 June 2024
Kigali, Rwanda Completed
Flag for Tanzania Tanzania
0 : 3
Flag for Algeria Algeria
13 June 2024
Kigali, Rwanda Upcoming
Flag for Cameroon Cameroon
vs
Flag for Rwanda Rwanda
14 June 2024
Kigali, Rwanda Upcoming
Flag for Ethiopia Ethiopia
vs
Flag for Lesotho Lesotho
14 June 2024
Kigali, Rwanda Upcoming
Flag for Algeria Algeria
vs
Flag for Congo, Dem. Rep. Congo, Dem. Rep.
14 June 2024
Kigali, Rwanda Upcoming
Flag for Tanzania Tanzania
vs
Flag for Angola Angola
14 June 2024

Japan 2-0 Kazakhstan: Osaka marks BJKC return with sparkling win

12/04/2024 07:20

Naomi Osaka and Nao Hibino starred for Japan as they moved to within touching distance of their first Billie Jean King Cup by Gainbridge Finals. One more match-win and they will book their ticket for November's extravanganza in Seville 

By Ross McLean
Japan 2-0 Kazakhstan: Osaka marks BJKC return with sparkling win
Four-time Grand Slam champion Naomi Osaka marked her return to Billie Jean King Cup by Gainbridge action with a key victory which edged Japan closer to the 2024 Finals. 
 
Former world No. 1 Osaka defeated Yulia Putintseva 6-2 7-6(5) to build on Nao Hibino’s earlier 6-1 6-0 triumph over Anna Danilina to leave Japan just one match-win away from their maiden appearance at the Billie Jean King Cup Finals. 
 
The presence of Osaka, who is playing her first Billie Jean King Cup tie since February 2020, has no doubt given a buoyant Japan a different dimension as they bid for victory at Tokyo’s Ariake Coliseum. 
 
Osaka has made an encouraging return to action this season after missing the entire 2023 campaign following the birth of her daughter, Shai, in July and her triumph over Putintseva was further evidence of this.
The 26-year-old entered the clash with five wins from seven Billie Jean King Cup matches for Japan, but Putintseva is an opponent she has struggled with previously. 
 
The pair have faced each other four times on the WTA Tour, with Putintseva winning on three occasions, but this time around Osaka rounded off an excellent day’s work for Japan. 
 
"I am happy at  the outcome of today’s match but I know the steps it took and it was really tough," Osaka said. "I was actually super nervous going into the match and throughout the match because I hadn’t played in Japan and I really wanted to do well. I think the atmosphere and the routine helped me a lot.
 
"Ai [Sugiyama, captain] was very calm at the bench and we were able to discuss a lot and  I am pretty sure that my serve helped me out a  lot," she added. "I would definitely say that it was a special feeling to come out and to see the Japanese flags everywhere and I did feel a lot of extra motivation."
 
Defeat ended Putintseva’s hopes of this weekend drawing level with Yaroslava Shvedova in second place on the list for most Billie Jean King Cup match-wins by a Kazakhstan player. She requires three further match-wins so the wait goes on. 
 
That said, the 29-year-old is already one of three Kazakhstan players to record 20 or more victories in the competition, and one of three Kazakhstani players to contest 25 or more ties. Today, however, was not her day. 
Osaka’s win followed Hibino’s success against Danilina. Hibino, who returned to Billie Jean King Cup action for the first time since 2019 in last year’s Play-offs, was in imperious form. Her victory no doubt set the tone for Japan’s impressive showing. 
 
"The last BJK had [Mai] Hontama playing the first match but this time it was me so I was very very nervous," Hibino admitted. "But Hontama told me that there are matches to follow so just go all out and play and thanks to her comment, I was able tao play well.
 
"Back in November, I wasn’t pumping my fist or anything and did not really feel that I was playing for the team so this time, I tried to be more expressive and show that I was fighting with the team."
 
In his first tie as captain, Kazakhstan's Yuriy Schukin recognised the superiority of the Japanese pair. "In the first game, Anna tried to grab the game, but Hibino played well and didn’t give her a chance," he said. "In the second match, Naomi's serve played a decisive role. There were chances in the tiebreaks, but unfortunately it didn’t work out."
 
On day two of the tie, Hibino is set to draw swords with Putintseva before Osaka takes to the court once more to face Danilina. This all precedes the doubles, with home favourites Ena Shibahara and Shuko Aoyama set to face Zhibek Kulambayeva and Danilina.
 
Shibahara is unbeaten in Billie Jean King Cup having won all eight doubles matches she has contested, while her partner Aoyama is currently on a 13-match winning streak in the competition. Her last defeat came in 2017.
 
While winners of the Billie Jean King Cup Qualifiers book their place at November’s Finals, the losers will contest the Play-offs in the same month.

Highlights: Hibino (JPN) v Danilina (KAZ)

Highlights: Osaka (JPN) v Putintseva (KAZ)