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Number one seed Iga Swiatek was knocked out of the Australian Open early on Sunday morning in straight sets by Elena Rybakina meaning it is now anyone's guess as to who will take the title in Melbourne.
  1. Tennis

Tennis: This Week's Highlights

The ATP and WTA tours may be winding down for 2022 but there are still a handful of high-profile tournaments left to be played this year, including the Billie Jean King Cup and the Next Generation ATP Finals, which both get underway this week.

The Billie Jean King Cup is the premier international team competition in women's tennis and features some big names, while the Next Generation ATP Finals feature the most promising youngsters in the men's game. Here is a look at the week of tennis ahead. 

Absence of Swiatek should not dampen excitement around Billie Jean King Cup 

Qualifying for the Billie Jean King Cup took place earlier this year and the finals, which begin on Tuesday, feature 12 teams spread across four groups of three and will take place at the Emirates Arena in Glasgow. Each nation will play the other two in their section with each tie between teams consisting of two singles matches and one doubles match. 

At the conclusion of the group stage, each of the sectional winners will advance to the semi-finals. Last year's Billie Jean King Cup finals went the way of Russia but they will not be involved this time around following their ban from international tennis events. 

Poland would have been considered genuine title contenders for this year's competition had they had the red-hot Iga Swiatek at their disposal but the Pole will not feature at the event, claiming she does not want to risk injury with the WTA Finals concluding only a day before its start. 

There are, however, others from the WTA Finals set to compete in the Glasgow tournament such as Coco Gauff and Jessica Pegula of the USA. The USA are the most successful team in the history of the Billie Jean King Cup, formerly known as the Fed Cup, and have some talented individuals at their disposal once again with four players inside the top 15 of the WTA rankings in their squad. They will face Czech Republic and Poland in Group D. 

Raducanu unavailable for Great Britain in Glasgow 

Great Britain will face Spain and Kazakhstan in Group C and the host nation will be pleased to simply be involved, having failed to qualify for the group stage in last year's Billie Jean King Cup. 

They will be competing without the services of 2021 US Open winner Emma Raducanu, who is out with a wrist injury, with team captain Anne Keothavong describing the absence as a "bit of a blow". 

In Raducanu's absence, world number 95 Harriet Dart will be Great Britain's brightest prospect and she is joined by the likes of Katie Boulter and Heather Watson in the team. 

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Rune worth keeping an eye on in Next Generation ATP Finals 

Having first been played back in 2017, the Next Generation ATP Finals are known for unearthing the next brightest youngsters in the men's game and this year's tournament in Milan should not disappoint. The eight players competing at the event are split into two groups - the Green Group and the Red Group - with the top two from each progressing to the knockout stage, which is made up of two semi-finals and a final. 

Carlos Alcaraz is defending champion but will not be returning for this year's event, having proven himself on the biggest stage this year when winning his first ever Grand Slam in the form of the 2022 US Open. 

Italian starlet Jannik Sinner has also withdrawn from the event and that could leave the door open for impressive Dane Holger Rune to make his mark. Rune, 19, only got as far as the third round at this year's US Open but has since gone from strength to strength, reaching the finals of the Sofia Open and Swiss Indoors either side of winning the Stockholm Open. 

And he heads into the Next Generation ATP Finals fresh from making the final of the Paris Masters, so is worth keeping an eye on. 

Rune takes the top seed in the tournament but others who could make an impact include 20-year-old Lorenzo Musetti, who made the final of the Tennis Napoli Cup last month and is second seed, and British star Jack Draper, who enjoyed some decent runs in the Canadian Open and Winston-Salem Open in the build up to Flushing Meadows. 

American Brandon Nakashima, Czech star Jiri Lehecka, Tseng Chun-hsin of Chinese Taipei, Dominic Stricker of Switzerland and Italian Francesco Passaro complete the line-up for the event.

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