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By Chris Oddo | @TheFanChild | Saturday February 8, 2020

 
Team USA

Sofia Kenin and Bethanie Mattek-Sands clinched a trip to the Fed Cup finals for Team USA.

Photo Source: Andrew Ong/USTA

Team USA was pushed to the brink by upset-minded Latvia on Saturday in Everett, Washington, but Sofia Kenin and Bethanie Mattek-Sands saved the Americans from what would have been a colossal collapse.

Tennis Express

After Kenin and Serena Williams failed to clinch in singles, Kenin and Mattek-Sands delivered a sparkling 6-4 6-0 doubles triumph over Anastasija Sevastova and Jelena Ostapenko to send Team USA to the Fed Cup finals. The triumph marks the fourth time that Mattek-Sands has claimed a decisive fifth doubles point in a Fed Cup tie.


It was a dominant performance from the American duo, who took an early lead in set one and never looked back.

They were pressed into action because of a noteworthy fightback from the Latvians, who opened the day as the extreme underdog after dropping both singles rubbers on Friday.

But Ostapenko continued her strong play and notched a hard-fought 6-3 2-6 6-2 victory over American No.1 Kenin, before Sevastova stunned Williams 7-6(5) 3-6 7-6(4) to keep the champagne on ice and the packed house at the Angel of the Winds Arena in Everett biting their nails.

Sevastova avenged a 6-3 6-0 drubbing at the hands of Williams in their only previous meeting and also became the first player to ever defeat Williams in a Fed Cup singles rubber. The American, who held a 14-0 record in Fed Cup singles tilts after her victory over Ostapenko on Friday, struggled to keep the ball in the court as she committed 65 errors and was broken six times, including four consecutive service games in the opening set.

Kenin, riding an eight match winning streak that started with her run to the Australian Open title last week, couldn’t stay with Ostapenko in Saturday’s first singles rubber. The Latvian hammered 34 winners against just 13 for Kenin and broke the American’s serve seven times to keep Latvia alive.

“It was very special to play for my country and I was just playing my best today,” Ostapenko told FedCup.com. “I know it's hard to play against Team USA.''

Undaunted, Kenin was superb alongside her doubles partner Mattek-Sands as they marched past Team Latvia with relative ease.

Team USA improves to 25-0 in Fed Cup ties in which they’ve swept the first two singles rubbers, dating back to 1995. They will head to Hungary in April to take part in the new-look Fed Cup final, which is a 12-team event that will commence with four groups of three engaging in group play to determine the semifinalist.

See the 12 finalists below:

 

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