Defending Champion USA Advances to Second Straight Fed Cup Final
(April 22, 2018) The United States advanced to its second consecutive Fed Cup Final by defeating France on Sunday, 3-2, in Aix-en-Provence. The United States has reached back-to-back Fed Cup finals for the first time since finishing runner-up in 2009-10 and last won consecutive Fed Cup titles in 1999-2000.
In the first match on Sunday, American No. 1 Sloane Stephens needed just 54 minutes to defeat France No. 1 Kristina Mladenovic, 6-2, 6-0. Stephens went 2-0 over the weekend to lead the team after losing both of her singles matches in the Final last year. Stephens is now 3-0 over Mladenovic in her career and 4-4 in Fed Cup singles play.
For the second singles rubber, U.S. Captain Kathy Rinaldi substituted CoCo Vandeweghe for world No. 13 Madison Keys with Keys going on to clinch the tie for the U.S. by defeating French No. 2 Pauline Parmentier, in a tight, 7-6(4), 6-4, match. Keys and Parmentier had never faced each other before. Keys, who was competing in her first Fed Cup match since 2016, now holds a 3-2 overall singles record in Fed Cup play.
In the dead doubles rubber, Bethanie Mattek-Sands and CoCo Vandeweghe fell to Kristina Mladenovic and Amandine Hesse, 6-4, 3-6, [10-6]. Mattek-Sands and Vandeweghe had both been undefeated in Fed Cup doubles play.
Captain Kathy Rinaldi, of Orlando, has had a very successful run as U.S. Fed Cup Captain since being named Captain in 2017, now holding a perfect 5-0 record at the post. With last year’s win, Rinaldi became the first Captain since Marty Riessen in 1986 to win the Fed Cup title in the first year of captaincy. Rinaldi follows Mary Joe Fernandez to make it back-to-back U.S. captains to reach the Fed Cup Final in their debut year. Rinaldi was named the 19th U.S. Fed Cup Captain on December 8, 2016, succeeding Fernandez after eight years. Rinaldi currently serves as Lead National Coach, Team USA – Pro Women for USTA Player Development.
The United States will next travel to the Czech Republic for the Fed Cup Final, November 10-11. The Czech Republic beat Germany, 4-1, in Stuttgart earlier today. The U.S. Fed Cup Team won its record 18th Fed Cup title in November against Belarus, 3-2, in Minsk. This was the U.S.’s first Fed Cup title since 2000. The Czech Republic is a 10-time Fed Cup champion, winning five Fed Cup titles since 2011.
Saturday, 2 p.m. (8 a.m. ET)
Singles A: Sloane Stephens (USA) def. Pauline Parmentier (FRA) 7-6(3), 7-5
Singles B: Kristina Mladenovic (FRA) def. CoCo Vandeweghe (USA) 1-6, 6-3, 6-2
Sunday, 1 p.m. (7 a.m. ET)
Singles C: Sloane Stephens (USA) def. Kristina Mladenovic (FRA) 6-2, 6-0
Singles D: Madison Keys (USA) vs. Pauline Parmentier (FRA) 7-6(4), 6-4
Doubles: Kristina Mladenovic/Amandine Hesse (FRA)
def. CoCo Vandeweghe/Bethanie Mattek-Sands (USA) 6-4, 3-6, [10-6]