Fed Cup Final: United States beat Belarus 3-2 in dramatic fashion for 18th title

United States were playing their fourth Fed Cup final since triumphing in 2000. They have the most titles in the international team competition.

By: AP | Minsk | Updated: November 13, 2017 12:14 am
fed cup, usa vs belarus, usa vs belarus fed cup CoCo Vandeweghe and Shelby Rogers won the decisive doubles rubber. (Source: Reuters)

The United States won its 18th Fed Cup title and the first since 2000 with a 3-2 win against Belarus on Sunday. CoCo Vandeweghe and Shelby Rogers beat Aryna Sabalenka and Aliaksandra Sasnovich 6-3, 7-6 (3) in the deciding doubles of the 2017 final.

Sasnovich had kept Belarus alive after beating U.S. Open champion Sloane Stephens 4-6, 6-1, 8-6 to leave the final level at 2-2. Vandeweghe earlier beat Sabalenka 7-6 (5), 6-1 to give the U.S. a 2-1 lead.

The U.S. holds the most Fed Cup titles in the international team competition. This was its fourth Fed Cup final since last winning in 2000. Belarus was making its first appearance in a Fed Cup final.

Vandeweghe has won all eight Fed Cup matches she’s played this season – six singles and two doubles.

Stephens had lost six matches since winning the U.S. Open in September. She lost both singles matches here in Minsk, including to Sabalenka on Saturday.

Stephens served for the match against Sasnovich at 5-3 in the third set, but was unable to clinch the title for the United States. It took Sasnovich two attempts, at 6-5 and 7-6 in the third set, to serve out the match.

Sabalenka had an opportunity to take an early lead against Vandeweghe when leading 5-4 but failed to take advantage of a set point on Vandeweghe’s serve in the 10th game.

Sabalenka led 4-1 in the tiebreaker but surrendered her lead to a more measured Vandeweghe, who clinched the first set when the Belarussian blasted a forehand wide while going for a winner.

Vandeweghe then jumped out to a 5-0 lead before Sabalenka won her only game of the second set.

“I know she was going to keep swinging,” Vandeweghe said. “I know what I had to do and knew what I expected she would do. I just kept the pressure on.”

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