Billie Jean King Cup: Iga Swiatek and Coco Gauff both out

(Photo by Stephen Pond/Getty Images for ITF)
(Photo by Stephen Pond/Getty Images for ITF) /

The Billie Jean King Cup is the biggest team competition in women’s tennis, but this year there will be at least three top players who won’t be playing in the event. That includes WTA No. 2 Iga Swiatek, No. 3 Coco Gauff, and No. 4 Jessica Pegula. It should be noted that Swiatek did not participate in the 2022 Billie Jean King Cup either.

Coco Gauff has actually been dealing with a slightly injured shoulder and this affected her play last week in the China Open where she fell to Iga Swiatek. While Gauff will play in the WTA Finals which take place in Cancun, Mexico from October 29 through November 5. The Billie Jean King Cup follows the WTA Finals just two days later so a player trying to work through an injury is unlikely to play both events simply for the wear and tear.

All that said, it is unclear if Gauff isn’t playing in the BJK Cup because she is injured or if she simply wants to take time off after the WTA Finals to practice. According to Forbes, Gauff said, “After WTA Finals I have some more weeks to really practice and improve. I do notice, like, my game gets better every time I go through even like a two-week break of just practicing.”

Swiatek and Gauff to miss Billie Jean King Cup

That sounds like Gauff could play in the BJK Cup but wants to focus more on her individual game. That’s her prerogative.

Just as Iga Swiatek has a right to not play in the Billie Jean King Cup either. The tennis year is a long one with few breaks for players. After the WTA Finals, a player deserves to take some time off. Maybe next year the Cup should be held before the WTA Finals as there is $12 million in money for players to win at the Cup.

This marks the 60th year of the Billie Jean King Cup, which has formerly been known as the Federation Cup and Fed Cup. The tournament changed its name to honor King, a former WTA No. 1 player, in 2020. The tournament features 12 team finalists and will take place this year from November 7 through 12 in Seville, Spain.

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