Tennis

Serena, Venus lead US to Fed Cup win

Share This Story

   
 

DELRAY BEACH, Florida (AP)

Venus Williams needed eight match points in the final game to beat Johanna Larsson 6-3, 7-5 and give the U.S. an insurmountable 3-1 lead against Sweden in the Fed Cup World Group Playoff.

It marked the first time that the 21st ranked Venus Williams, a former No. 1, has clinched a Fed Cup tie for the United States.

Earlier Sunday, No. 1-ranked Serena Williams boosted the U.S. to a 2-1 lead when she posted a 6-2, 6-1 win over 54th-ranked Sofia Arvidsson.

U.S. captain Mary Joe Fernandez made a last minute substitution by putting in Venus Williams for the 16th-ranked Sloane Stephens in the fourth match. Stephens lost the first match of the weekend to Arvidsson.

''The hardest thing was trying to decide when to play which one,'' Fernandez said. ''At the end of the day, experience just goes a long way. Venus has been there so many times before.

''To have her in that clinching match for me was really important.''

Fernandez also knew that Venus Williams was desperate to play.

''To be honest, I wanted to be out there,'' Venus Williams said. ''I told Mary Joe yesterday I feel good, I feel positive.

''I pumped myself up and I wanted to be there for the team.''

The final score was 3-2 after the U.S. defaulted the doubles match, giving the doubles point to Sweden, due to injury of three of four of the American players.

The victory guarantees the U.S. a spot in the 2014 Fed Cup World Group, while Sweden will play 2014 World Group II action.

Venus Williams posted 11 double faults in the match with seven of them happening in the second set. In the final game, she had two double faults.

''Yeah, definitely relieved,'' Venus Williams said. ''I needed it to be over in two. Mary Joe needed it to be over in two. She was having a heart attack on the sidelines.

Serena Williams

HER WAY

Slacking at non-majors has worked for Serena, Greg Couch writes — but at what cost?

''It just feels good.''

Serena Williams also had some serving problems, but just in one service game - the third game of the match. Serving into the sun, Williams offered Arvidsson three break points in that game - the only break point chances the Swede had in the match - but Williams managed to hold on to the game.

''I felt OK out there but the sun was intense,'' Williams said. ''Those games like that are really important because if she would've won that game it would've been a tougher score, a different match.

''It was important for me to stay focused and fight for everything.''

In the second set, Arvidsson held serve once, in the sixth game.

Except for that third game, Williams played focused tennis throughout the 57-minutes match.

She hit 35 winners to only eight for Arvidsson. She served 10 aces to none for Arvidsson. She broke serve on four of six break point offerings from Arvidsson.

Venus Williams improved her Fed Cup record to 15-2 in singles. Serena Williams improved her Fed Cup record to 10-0 in singles.

In other Fed Cup action, Russia and Italy advanced to the World Group final.

Related Stories

Member Comments

Please note by clicking on "Post comment" you acknowledge that you have read the Terms of Use and the comment you are posting is in compliance with such terms. Be Polite. Inappropriate posts may be removed by the moderator.

powered by



Tennis Videos

Djokovic tops Federer in five-set Wimbledon final Posted: Jul 06, 2014
Novak Djokovic captures his second Wimbledon title while denying Roger Federer a...

Dramatic Moments of the Week: 6/2-6/8 Posted: Jun 09, 2014
We count down the most dramatic moments from the week in sports, including the K...

Williams sisters bounced at Roland Garros Posted: May 28, 2014
Andy Roddick on Venus and Serena losing on the same day at the French Open.

More Than Sports on MSN

Fox Sports Store