U.S. beats Belarus to win first Fed Cup title since 2000

U.S. beats Belarus to win first Fed Cup title since 2000

Kathy Rinaldi, in her inaugural season in charge of the Americans, became the first female captain in the tournament to lead a Fed Cup team to victory since Billie Jean King for the U.S. in 2000.

Tennis - Fed Cup Final - Belarus v United States - rubber 1 - Chizhovka Arena, Minsk, Belarus, November 11, 2017 - Coco Vandeweghe of the U.S.in action against Aliaksandra Sasnovich of Belarus.

But Belarus, who have never won the showpiece women's team event, hit back in front of a partisan home crowd.

Earlier on Sunday, Vandeweghe put the United States of America 2-1 up by beating Sabalenka 7-6 (5), 6-1, while Sasnovich battled back from a set down to beat Sloane Stephens 4-6, 6-1, 8-6 to draw Belarus level at 2-2.

Stephens has now lost all six matches since winning the title in NY.

Azarenka also missed the US Open due to the same legal arrangement. The U.S. last won the Fed Cup 17 years ago while Belarus are playing their first final.

MINSK, Belarus (AP) - The United States won its 18th Fed Cup title and the first since 2000 with a 3-2 win against Belarus on Sunday.

The Americans dominated the tiebreaker, winning five of the last six points.

"You just try your best", Vandeweghe said Friday. "We're going to have each other's backs and compete as a really tight-knit team". "This was a very tough match". Since then, they have played and lost in three finals - 2003, 2009 and 2010.

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"I had to win, I had to make the score 1-1, that's all I had in my mind during the match", Sabalenka said.

Belarus was making its first appearance in a Fed Cup final.

"We are really satisfied we gained this result", Belarus captain Eduard Dubrou said.

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.

The 19-year-old Sabalenka and Sasnovich, 23, dropped a serve apiece in the first set and the Americans surged in front after just 26 minutes.

World number 10 Vandeweghe put in a composed performance against Aliaksandra Sasnovich to send the visitors ahead with a 6-4 6-4 victory.

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 victor.

The class of the American squad, missing Serena and Venus Williams, eventually told as Vandeweghe and Rogers came from behind in the second set to win in straight sets.

"I know she was going to keep swinging", Vandeweghe said.

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