Krejcikova gives BJK Cup earnings to quake relief

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After helping the Czech Republic to a 2-0 lead over Ukraine in their Billie Jean King Cup qualifier, Barbora Krejcikova announced Friday that she would be donating her prize money to help earthquake relief efforts in the host country.

The matches were held in Antalya, Turkey.

A magnitude 7.8 earthquake struck parts of Turkey and Syria in February, killing more than 50,000 — the vast majority in Turkey — and leaving millions homeless.

“It’s very sad, and I would like to help the young tennis players that lost everything,” said Krejcikova, the 2021 French Open singles champion and owner of a career Grand Slam in doubles. “I have friends among the Turkish players who connected me with the Turkish federation. They have a project that they are planning to do, and I am honored I can help somewhere.”

She earned her first career BJK Cup singles victory 6-4, 6-3 over Katarina Zavatska after 2019 French Open runner-up Marketa Vondrousova defeated Marta Kostyuk 6-2, 6-1. The Czech Republic needs to win just one of what could be as many as three matches Saturday to clinch the best-of-five qualifier.

The countries were supposed to play each other in Ukraine, but the matches were moved because of the war there that began when Russia invaded in February 2022.

There are nine qualifiers being held around the world Friday and Saturday, including in Delray Beach, Florida, where Coco Gauff and Jessica Pegula were scheduled to play on Day 1 for the U.S. against Austria. Canada was to host Belgium later Friday.

In other results: Reigning Wimbledon champion Elena Rybakina got past Weronika Falkowska 6-3, 6-4 before Yulia Putintseva topped Australian Open semifinalist Magda Linette 7-5, 6-3 to give host Kazakhstan a 2-0 edge against Poland; Caroline Garcia won in three sets and Alizé Cornet won in two — every set in each match went to a tiebreaker — to put France ahead 2-0 at Britain; Sara Sorribes Tormo’s 6-0, 6-0 blanking of Fernanda Contreras Gomez helped Spain grab a 2-0 lead against visiting Mexico; Italy leads host Slovakia 2-0; Romania is up 2-0 against host Slovenia; and Germany and visiting Brazil are at 1-all.

The nine countries that win qualifiers will join reigning champion Switzerland, 2022 runner-up Australia and one wild-card recipient at the 12-team BJK Cup Finals in November.

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