The International Tennis Federation (ITF) has announced Australia will replace the suspended Russian team in the Billie Jean King Cup Finals.
- Russia and Belarus are suspended from the Billie Jean King Cup
- Australia will not have to qualify for the Finals
- Russia was defending champion in both the Billie Jean King and Davis cups
Australia will take Russia’s automatic spot in this year’s Finals, scheduled to be held in November, as it was the highest-ranked team among the losing semi-finalists in 2021.
The ITF suspended Russia as a member nation earlier this month following its invasion of Ukraine.
Belarus, a key staging area for the invasion, was also suspended, with both nations banned from competing in the ITF’s international team competitions.
Players from Russia and Belarus are allowed to compete in international tennis events as individuals.
Russia was the defending champion in both the Billie Jean King Cup and the Davis Cup.
Australia, which will be hoping to call on world number one Ash Barty in the Billie Jean King Cup Finals, will not have to contest the qualifying stage of the tournament, which is being held next month.
Alicia Molik’s squad was set to face Slovakia, which will now advance directly to the Finals via a bye.
Belgium will also progress directly to the Finals as it was scheduled to play Belarus in the qualifiers.
Serbia, which had been granted a wildcard to the Davis Cup Finals, will now take Russia’s automatic place in the men’s team event.
Australia qualified for the Davis Cup Finals by defeating Hungary in Sydney earlier this month.