Fed Cup final: United States beat Belarus to win first title since 2000
The United States won the Fed Cup for the first time in 17 years with a dramatic victory over Belarus in Minsk.
Coco Vandeweghe and Shelby Rogers beat Aryna Sabalenka and Aliaksandra Sasnovich 6-3 7-6 (7-3) in the deciding doubles rubber to give the visitors a 3-2 win in the best-of-five tie.
Sasnovich had earlier beaten US Open champion Sloane Stephens 4-6 6-1 8-6 in a thrilling match to force a decider.
Stephens has now lost all six matches since winning the title in New York.
Belarus were playing in their first Fed Cup final, and were without their leading player as two-time Grand Slam champion Victoria Azarenka is unwilling to travel during a custody battle over her son.
Vandeweghe, the world number 10, put the US into a 2-1 lead with a 7-6 (7-5) 6-1 win over Sabalenka, ranked 78th, in Sunday’s opening singles rubber.
However, the 87th-ranked Sasnovich then came back from 5-2 down in the final set to upset world number 13 Stephens and set up a doubles decider.
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.
It is the first US victory since the team of Lisa Raymond, Lindsay Davenport, Monica Seles and Jennifer Capriati in 2000.
They have now won the Fed Cup 18 times, extending their lead over the Czech Republic/Czechoslovakia, who have 10 titles.