Mexico meeting for Australia's next BJK Cup skipper

Australia will play Mexico in the qualifying round for the 2024 Billie Jean King Cup, the first match of a new era for the women's tennis team.

BELINDA BENCIC.
BELINDA BENCIC. Picture: Mike Stobe/Getty Images

Australia's next Billie Jean King Cup captain will have the benefit of a kind draw as they embark on the nation's ongoing quest to end a drought stretching back to 1974, long before the competition was named after that year's US Open winner.

Seeded in Sunday's draw having reached this year's finals group stage, the seven-time winners were paired at home to Mexico for the qualifying round for the 2024 competition.

Knocked out in the 18-team qualifying round by Spain, Mexico avoided relegation by defeating Austria in the play-offs.

While neither side have a top-100 player, injuries having sent Australian duo Ajla Tomljanovic and Daria Saville tumbling down the rankings, Australia have much greater depth.

They have six players in the top 200, not including Tomljanoivic and Saville, while Mexico have only one player in the top 300.

She is 151st-ranked Renata Zarazua, a 26-year-old who has only played two matches at a grand slam, winning once, in Paris in 2020.

Australia will have a new skipper after Alicia Molik stepped down earlier this month following this year's event. She had 10 years in the role, twice leading Australia to the final, in 2019 and 2022.

Seville will again host the 12-team finals next November. Champions Canada and runners-up Italy have already secured two of the spots along with hosts Spain and wild cards, the Czech Republic.

Australia (1) v Mexico

Switzerland (2) v Poland

France (3) v Great Britain

USA (4) v Belgium

Japan v Kazakhstan (5)

Brazil v Germany (6)

Slovakia (7) v Slovenia

Ukraine v Romania (8)

Home nation first (#) = seed.