United States beats Belarus to win Fed Cup title

Elias Hubbard
November 14, 2017

Sabalenka won 6-3, 3-6, 6-4 Saturday after CoCo Vandeweghe had beaten Aliaksandra Sasnovich 6-4, 6-4 to give 17-time champion United States a 1-0 lead with the Americans looking to break a 17-year championship drought.

The second day of the final match in the Chizhovka Arena started with a match between Aryna Sabalenka, ranked 78th in the world, and Koko Vandeweghe, ranked 10th in the world. The 2016 Olympian had a stellar Fed Cup campaign overall, winning all eight of her matches. A wild second set saw six straight breaks of serve before Sabalenka held in the seventh game.

In the deciding set, Stephens led 5-2 before Sasnovich, 23, roared back with four straight games before eventually closing it out 8-6 as Stephens suffered her sixth straight defeat since winning her maiden Grand Slam title in NY in September. "That's my job, I'm top-ranked player in our team", Vandeweghe said on court after the match. The players traded breaks early in the second set but Vandeweghe, playing with slightly more accuracy, went 3-1 up. The Fed Cup title caps off a stellar year for the 25-year-old in which she made semifinals appearances at the Australian Open and the U.S. Open. Since then, they have played and lost in three finals - 2003, 2009 and 2010.

In a tense conclusion, the hosts broke Rogers again but the American pair would not buckle despite the intense atmosphere of a Minsk crowd desperate to see a first home Fed Cup triumph.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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