The U.S. Billie Jean King Cup team will return to Asheville, N.C. for the third time in five years in April when it hosts Ukraine with a spot in the 2022 Billie Jean King Cup by BNP Paribas Finals at stake. The USTA has selected Harrah’s Cherokee Center as host for the April 15-16 qualifying tie, making Asheville just the second three-time host for a U.S. Billie Jean King Cup tie all-time.
Tickets for April's Qualifier will go on sale to the general public on Nov. 19 at 10:00 a.m. USTA members have the opportunity to purchase tickets in an exclusive presale from Nov. 16-18, while supplies last. Two-day packages for both Friday and Saturday, as well as single-day tickets for Friday or Saturday, are available. Click here to purchase tickets.
Team USA previously played at Harrah’s Cherokee Center -- Asheville in 2018 and 2019, when the competition was played as Fed Cup. The two events combined, both World Group first-round ties in the event's old competition structure, generated more than $8 million in economic impact for the region and spurred increases in tennis participation at the grassroots level.
“Asheville was a tremendous host in 2018 and 2019, and we’re happy to be coming back,” said Megan Rose, Managing Director, Major Events, USTA. “April will be an exciting time for women’s tennis in the Carolinas. The week before the Billie Jean King Cup returns to Asheville, the Credit One Open WTA event in Charleston is celebrating its 50th anniversary, with a new, state-of-the-art facility. When Billie Jean founded the WTA tour, her dream was that any girl in the world would have the opportunity to play professional tennis, and to be able to celebrate her vision 50 years later with the largest women’s-only tournament in U.S., the Credit One Open., followed by the international team event named in her honor is an incredible tribute to her dream being realized.”
The Qualifier is a best-of-five match series split across two days. It begins with two singles matches on Friday, April 15, with two reverse singles matches and the doubles match to follow on Saturday, April 16. Matches will be played on a temporary, indoor court laid down for the tie. The winner of April's tie will advance to the 2022 Finals in November at a location to be determined.
Team USA is 1-1 in its last two ties in Asheville, having beaten the Netherlands in 2018, 3-1, before losing a 3-2 tie to Australia in 2019.
"We are honored to become only the second city to host three Billie Jean King Cup ties,” said Chris Corl, General Manager, Harrah's Cherokee Center. “We thank the USTA and our local community partners, organizers and volunteers for their continued support with this event at the Harrah's Cherokee Center Asheville. This event has played a pivotal role in the expansion of youth and adult tennis programs throughout Western North Carolina over the past five years."
Added Kelly Gaines, Executive Director, USTA North Carolina: "On behalf of USTA North Carolina and the USTA Southern Section, we are thrilled to have this prestigious international event come back to our area."
The U.S. was drawn against Ukraine at the conclusion of this year's Billie Jean King Cup Finals earlier this month. The two countries have played just once in the history of the competition since Ukraine's independence from the Soviet Union: a 5-0 World Group Play-off win for the U.S. on the road, on clay in Kharkiv, back in 2012. Notably, that tie marked the Billie Jean King Cup debut of future Top 10 player Elina Svitolina, who was then just 17 years old. The winning nations of the nine 2022 Qualifiers will advance to the 2022 Finals, a field which will be rounded out by Russia and Switzerland—the 2021 finalists—and either the hosts of the 2022 competition (if not already qualified when the host venue is announced) or the highest-ranked loser of a qualifying tie.
The Billie Jean King Cup by BNP Paribas is the flagship international team tennis competition for women and has been played since 1963. Approximately 100 nations participate in the competition at all levels annually, making it the largest international team competition in women's sport. The U.S. has won 18 titles in event history, and bids for the chance to win a record-extending 19th in 2022 after losing in the semifinals at the 2021 Finals in Prague. The site selection is subject to final approval by the International Tennis Federation.