The News – Capital Media
The News – Capital Media
  • Sasnovich beats Stephens to take Fed Cup to deciding doubles

  • Aliaksandra Sasnovich beat U.S. Open champion Sloane Stephens 4-6, 6-1, 8-6 to bring Belarus level with the United States at 2-2 and force a deciding doubles in the Fed Cup final. CoCo Vandeweghe and Shelby Rogers play Aryna Sabalenka and Sasnovich in the final match later Sunday in Minsk. Vandeweghe earlier beat Sabalenka 7-6 (5), 6-1. The U.S. holds the most Fed Cup titles with 17 in the international team competition.

, Aliaksandra Sasnovich of Belarus celebrates with teammates after defeating Sloane Stephens of the United States during the Fed Cup final match between Belarus and USA, in Minsk, Belarus, Sunday, Nov.12, 2017. (AP Photo/Sergei Grits)

12 of November 2017 16:46:27

MINSK, Belarus (AP) — Aliaksandra Sasnovich beat U.S. Open champion Sloane Stephens 4-6, 6-1, 8-6 Sunday to bring Belarus level with the United States at 2-2 and force a deciding doubles in the Fed Cup final.

CoCo Vandeweghe and Shelby Rogers play Aryna Sabalenka and Sasnovich in the final match.

Vandeweghe earlier beat Sabalenka 7-6 (5), 6-1 to give the U.S. a 2-1 lead. Vandeweghe has won all seven Fed Cup matches she's played this season — six singles and one doubles.

Stephens has yet to win any of her 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 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."

The U.S. holds the most Fed Cup titles with 17 in the international team competition.

This is the fourth Fed Cup final the U.S. has appeared in since last winning in 2000.

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


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