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Billie Jean King Cup by Gainbridge

La Cartuja Stadium, Seville, Spain 13 - 20 November 2024

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Billie Jean King Cup 2024: Great Britain vs France – the rivalry so far


The final preparations are being put in place ahead of Great Britain’s Billie Jean King Cup qualifying tie against France in just a few days time.

With a fifth meeting between the two nations on the horizon, let’s take a look back at the history between them in a captivating rivalry which spans almost five decades.

1975: France triumph on first meeting against Great Britain

The first meeting between came in 1975 back when the tournament was named the Federation Cup. The Brits were represented by three-time Grand Slam singles champion Virginia Wade, Sue Barker and Glynis Coles.

Taking place on an outdoor clay court in Aix-en-Provence, France, Wade got the Brits off to a winning start when she beat four-time Roland Garros title-winner Gail Benedetti 6-3, 6-3 to push her nation ahead in the tie. However, Nathalie Fuchs soon got France back on level terms after edging Barker in a three-set battle.

With the tie turning to a deciding doubles rubber, it was the French pairing of Benedetti and Rosy Darmon who got their nation over the line as they pulled off a comeback victory over Coles and Wade, 3-6, 6-1, 6-2 to secure the first victory.

1976: Great Britain secure clean sweep to get revenge on France


Just 15 months later the two nations met again in the World Group where they contested on indoor carpet at the Spectrum Stadium in Philadelphia.

The two-strong British team of Barker and Wade were out to get revenge on an unchanged French team. Barker kick-started the tie with a dominant 6-3, 6-0 win over Fuchs before Wade dispatched Benedetti to secure the tie win.

The two legendary British tennis icons later joined forces for the doubles rubber where they made it a clean sweep over Darmon and Benedetti with a third consecutive straight-sets win.

1981: Barker and Wade guide Brits to back-to-back victories

Wade and Barker continued to rise to the occasion for their country, sealing consecutive wins over France at the World Group stages in Japan November 1981.

Wade – who currently holds the record for the most wins for the GB Billie Jean King Cup team (66) – set the scene for another compelling performance over their rivals.

Playing on outdoor clay, the former world No.2 beat Catherine Tanvier 6-2, 6-3 before Barker came back from a set behind against Corinne Vanier to secure a vital win. The dream team then joined forces once again to defeat Tanvier and Sophie Amiach in the doubles to give the Brits the lead in the head-to-head for the first time.

2023: France defeat Great Britain in front of home crowd in Coventry


The nations were then drawn to face each other 42 years later at the 2023 Billie Jean King Cup Qualifiers – competing on British ground for the first time at the Coventry Building Society Arena..

A new era of talent amongst both teams, Katie Boulter, Harriet Dart, Heather Watson, Olivia Nicholls and Alicia Barnett were called up to represent the Brits while then world No.5 Caroline Garcia spearheaded a French team consisting of Alize Cornet, Clara Burel and Kristina Mladenovic.

Despite Boulter and Dart pushing Garcia and Cornet all the way in a gripping qualifying clash, it was the visitors who booked their spot to the 2023 Finals in Seville after winning three singles rubbers on the bounce. However, Barnett and Nicholls ensured the British crowd had something to celebrate in the doubles after they came back from 8-2 down in the deciding match tie-break to defeat Burel and Mladenovic 7-5, 3-6, 11-9.

With the head-to-head now tied at two wins apiece, the 2024 qualifying tie is anyone’s to win. The Lexus GB Billie Jean King Cup team enter in fine form off the back of some brilliant results so far this year, while France’s highest ranked player Garcia finds herself with momentum after defeating Naomi Osaka and reigning US Open champion Coco Gauff en route to the Miami Open quarter-finals.

Both nations will be competing for a spot in the 2024 Billie Jean King Cup Finals later this year, but with everything to play for, who will come out on top this coming weekend?

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