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Taylah Preston’s speedy rise: Orange lady earns Billie Jean King Cup promotion | 26 March, 2024 | All Information | Information and Options | Information and Occasions

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Perth teen Taylah Preston has been chosen to symbolize Australia for the primary time within the Billie Jean King Cup competitors.

Brisbane, Australia, 26 March 2024 | Leigh Rogers

Taylah Preston revealed she “couldn’t cease smiling” after discovering out she was within the Australian workforce for the upcoming Billie Jean King Cup Qualifier tie in opposition to Mexico.

“I used to be a bit nervous after I noticed (Australian captain) Sam (Stosur) was calling me however fortunately it was an excellent telephone name,” she stated.

It’s the first time that the 18-year-old from Perth has been chosen to symbolize Australia within the prestigious workforce competitors.

“Enjoying BJK Cup this season was undoubtedly a aim for me,” Preston stated.

“It was one thing my coach and I discussed on the finish of final 12 months whereas doing my targets for the subsequent few months, so I’m tremendous blissful I can put a tick subsequent to this aim on my record.”

Two years in the past, Preston was invited to accompany the Australian Billie Jean King Cup workforce throughout their finals marketing campaign.

The then 16-year-old crammed the function of ‘orange lady’ in Glasgow, an unofficial and long-held Aussie custom reserved for a promising participant.

At that stage in her younger profession, Preston had contested solely eight skilled tournaments and was ranked exterior the world’s prime 600.

“Being orange lady was such a tremendous expertise for me,” Preston recalled.

“It undoubtedly helped to encourage me to work onerous and be capable to be formally on the workforce as quickly as I might.

“We really had a dialog at dinner one night time in Glasgow the place they requested me after I assume I might be on the workforce, I’m fairly positive I stated ‘a few years hopefully’, in order that’s fairly cool.”

Regardless of Preston’s inexperience on the time, her expertise and perspective left an enduring impression on skilled team-mate Stosur.

“At the same time as a 16-year-old orange lady in that tie in Glasgow, she appeared like she belonged,” Stosur associated.

“That basically caught out for me. I had by no means met Taylah earlier than that week, however she was skilled, she was able to go for each apply. Clearly, she knew she wasn’t taking part in as a result of she was the orange lady, however she put her hand as much as do completely all the pieces.”

It meant Stosur, Australia’s new Billie Jean King Cup captain, had no hesitations choosing the now 18-year-old within the Australian workforce for the upcoming tie in opposition to Mexico.

“It’s thrilling for Taylah to have the chance to be within the workforce,” Stosur stated.

> READ: Australian workforce introduced for Billie Jean King Cup Qualifier in opposition to Mexico

Preston’s promotion to the Australian line-up follows a powerful begin to the 2024 season.

Highlights embody beating 4 higher-ranked opponents to achieve her greatest profession singles remaining at a WTA 125 event in Mexico, scoring a primary top-50 win on the WTA 500 occasion in San Diego and increasing world No.20 Caroline Garcia to 3 units through the Australian summer season.

After beginning the 12 months ranked No.208 in singles, Preston now sits at a career-high world No.134.

“The sky’s the restrict,” Stosur stated of the teenager’s potential.

“She’s actually transferring in the suitable course. She’s tremendous skilled already and appears like she actually desires it.”

Preston will make her Billie Jean King Cup debut in Brisbane from 12-13 April, when Australia faces Mexico in a must-win Qualifier tie.

Tickets for the Billie Jean King Cup by Gainbridge Qualifier at the moment are on sale by Ticketmaster. Grownup costs begin at $20, concessions $16, children $5 and household passes (two adults and two youngsters) begin at $45.

> BUY NOW: Tickets to see Australia play Mexico

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