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China draw 1-1 with Netherlands in Billie Jean King Cup

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BEIJING, April 16 (Xinhua) — China drew 1-1 with the Netherlands after two singles matches on Friday at the Billie Jean King Cup (formerly Fed Cup) Qualification Playoffs in Hertogenbosch, the Netherlands.

The International Tennis Federation (ITF) was renamed from the Fed Cup, the women’s world cup of tennis, as the Billie Jean King Cup in September, 2020, to honor American legendary player, Billie Jean King, founder of the Women’s Tennis Association (WTA).

A total of 16 teams will battle in the playoffs for chances to the Finals of 2021 Billie Jean King Cup with the winners of the best-of-five series advancing.

China’s 19-year-old Wang Xinyu lost the first singles match to world No. 11 Kiki Bertens 6-2, 6-0. The world 146th-ranked rookie only hung on for a 3-2 start in the first set before losing the next 10 games in row to give the Dutch a 1-0 lead.

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Wang Xiyu, who turned 20 last month, beat Arantxa Rus 2-1 in the next match to tie the series 1-1.

Facing a break in the very first game, Wang Xiyu won six straight games to take it 6-1. Rus answered with a 6-3 win in the second and broke again in the first game of the third set.

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Wang Xiyu, who is ranked 134th in the world, snapped the hope of the 83rd-ranked Rus, winning four games to usurp the lead before she sealed the victory by 6-2.

The four singles players will switch their opponents in Saturday’s two singles matches, while the two teams also will have one doubles match to decide the final winners.

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