The USA stormed into the Fed Cup by BNP Paribas final with victory over the Czech Republic after doubles pairing Bethanie Mattek-Sands and Liezel Huber came back from match point down to win the fifth and decisive rubber 2-6 7-6(1) 6-1 against Kveta Peschke and Iveta Benesova.
This victory for the USA is a particularly proud moment for team captain Mary-Joe Fernandez who has coached her team to the final of the Fed Cup by BNP Paribas in her first year as captain.
“The doubles was a really emotional match, there were so many ups and downs,” she said. What a fight though. They showed a lot of heart and a lot of courage and that’s what Fed Cup’s about. It’s about the team and working together and they found a way to win the match and it’s a thrill to be in the final.”
In the final in November the USA will meet Italy, who won their semifinal tie against Russia this weekend by four rubbers to one. The tie won’t be an easy one for the USA, as the Italians showed their strength defeating the ITF’s number one ranked team in Castellaneta Marina this weekend.
The Italians have won the Fed Cup only once before in 2006 when they defeated Belgium in the final. The Americans by contrast have not won a Fed Cup title since 2000 and Mary-Joe Fernandez is hoping that her team’s cause in November will be helped by the addition of the Williams sisters.
“Venus and Serena are the best players in America and basically the whole world so hopefully they can play. You have to pick your best team so I’ll be calling them and getting them ready.”
Photo by AP