Belarus to face USA in Fed Cup final as Czech reign ended


Belarus made it through to the Fed Cup final for the first time on Sunday and will face the United States for the right to be crowned champions after the latter knocked out holders the Czech Republic.

Having been level with Switzerland overnight, Belarus secured victory in their semi-final with a match to spare thanks to two upset wins at Minsk's Chizhovka Arena.

Aliaksandra Sasnovich got the better of Timea Bacsinszky, who sits 74 places above her in the WTA rankings, in straight sets before Aryna Sabalenka overcame Viktorija Golubic 6-3 2-6 6-4 to spark jubilant celebrations. Switzerland's subsequent doubles victory was immaterial.

Belarus' run to the final has been achieved without the country's premier player, Victoria Azarenka, who gave birth to her first child in December. However, the former world number one could well be available for the final, which does not take place until November.

The weekend's other semi-final saw the USA get the better of the Czech Republic, the champions in five of the last six years, with Coco Vandeweghe claiming a maximum haul of three wins.

Vandeweghe's 6-4 6-0 thrashing of Katerina Siniakova put the States 2-1 ahead, but Marketa Vondrousova beat Lauren Davis in straight sets to ensure the tie would be decided in the closing doubles.

However, the Czech pairing of Kristyna Pliskova and Siniakova was well beaten as Vandeweghe and Bethanie Mattek-Sands triumphed 6-2 6-3 to send the USA through.