Russia edged Switzerland to win the maiden Billie Jean King Cup in Prague on Saturday, but the win turned sour as the Swiss suggested the new champions had replaced players against the rules.
Daria Kasatkina beat Jil Teichmann 6-2, 6-4 and Liudmila Samsonova overpowered Olympic champion Belinda Bencic 3-6, 6-3, 6-4 to bring Russia its fifth title overall in the team competition previously known as the Fed Cup.
“I have too many emotions now, I’m feeling like I’m freezing and it’s unbelievable really. Unbelievably happy,” Samsonova said after celebrating with her team.
“Today was an incredible fight, it was more than tennis,” she added.
Teichmann, the world number 39, demolished Storm Sanders on Friday as Switzerland beat Australia in the semi-final, but the 28th-ranked Kasatkina, who had sat out Russia’s previous two ties, proved a different level.
The Russian went 5-0 up on her precise hitting and three breaks as Teichmann struggled with her serve, and she took the set easily despite a late break by the Swiss player.
Both held on to their serves in the second set until game seven when they traded a break apiece but Kasatkina earned one more and then held on to her serve, taking the set as Teichmann blasted her forehand out of the court.