World No. 12 Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova insisted she ir Russia Billie Jean King Cup team didn’t intentionally try to catch Switzerland Billie Jean King Cup off guard in the final.
Top-ranked Russian Pavlyuchenkova was projected to meet Olympic gold medalist Belinda Bencic in the second rubber of the tie but she pulled out 15 minutes before the start of the match.
Pavlyuchenkova was replaced by Liudmila Samsonova, who surprised Bencic to seal the title for Russia.
Bencic thought the Russians pulled off a dirty move as she said: “I think it was ugly to be honest and I just think in the end I think the good will win and we will come back and we will win this title.”
Pavlyuchenkova responds to Bencic’s comments
“I already felt yesterday evening, but I wanted to try my best, and I tried this morning during warmup and I still believed that I could do it, but I just couldn’t even serve, so that was the decision,” Pavlyuchenkova said.
“I think in sports, especially I’ve been there for a while, I think you have to learn and also accept to lose, and respect.”
Veronika Kudermetova insisted that Pavlyuchenkova at the last moment decided to pull out.
“It happened at the last moment,” said Kudermetova. “Because Nastia she felt good, she had a good three matches, a very good quality and she wanted to play today because she is the first player in our team, and she tried to warm up and she started to feel the knee and it’s worse, she couldn’t serve, she couldn’t jump.
“Our captain he switched the choice, he switched for Liudmila, it happened on the warmup, it didn’t happen yesterday or the day before.”
Russia captain Igor Andreev didn’t think they did anything ilegally.
“I think the rule is there, I think it’s fair,” added Andreev.