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US Beats Belarus To Win First Fed Cup Since 2000

CoCo Vandeweghe was instrumental in guiding the US to a first Fed Cup title in 17 years so it is perhaps no wonder that the world No.10 said afterwards that she is ready for a vacation.

The American, 25, won all eight of her Fed Cup matches in the 2017 campaign — the first player to do so since the current format was introduced in 2005 — and needed to be at her peak Sunday in helping her country to a 3-2 victory over hosts Belarus.

The final went down to the wire in Minsk, with Vandeweghe and partner Shelby Rogers winning the final doubles tie against Aryna Sabalenka and Aliaksandra Sasnovich 6-3 7-6, having trailed in the second set

“It feels perfectly believable and unbelievable,” world No. 10 Vandeweghe told reporters. “I’m ready for a vacation.

“It was a lot of work and a lot of dedication to the Fed Cup, in each and every round. To dedicate my time and energy through my season to be able to perform the best I could for Team USA.”

It was a record 18th Fed Cup title for the US, ending a run of three consecutive titles for the Czech Republic, who the US defeated in the semifinals.

Not since Lisa Raymond, Lindsay Davenport, Monica Seles and Jennifer Capriati lifted the trophy in 2000 has the US won the competition.

Vandeweghe has enjoyed the best season of her career to date in grand slams, reaching the semifinals at the Australian Open and the French Open.

The 25-year-old had given the US a 2-1 lead in Minsk after defeating Sabalenka 7-6 6-1 in a singles match-up, but Sasnovich forced a decider by beating US Open champion Sloane Stephens 4-6 6-1 8-6 in a three-set epic.

Stephens has now lost all six of her games since claiming her first grand slam.

Belarus were without star player and two-time grand slam champion Victoria Azarenka, who resides in California, a she is s not traveling to tournaments during the ongoing custody battle with her son.

The USA, meanwhile, were missing Serena and Venus Williams, the former tweeting her congratulations to the team.

“I’m just really thrilled for all four of the players,” said team captain Kathy Rinaldi.

“CoCo came out and just played unbelievable, Shelby stepped up, and Sloane — my heart was broken for her, but she battled this whole weekend, she battled all the way to the end. I’m so proud of all four of them.”


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