Belarus v USA Fed Cup Final 2017: Team USA chances


Belarus v USA Fed Cup Final 2017: Team USA chances

The USA will have to face surprisingly strong Belarus in the Fed Cup final in Minsk on November 11-12. The Belarusian Tennis Federation has analyzed Team USA's chances to win. The conclusions are not that obvious as one might expect ahead of the match.

Belarus and USA Fed Cup ranking

To date, team USA is in third place in the Federation Cup ranking and is just behind Belarus, who are second despite having far less eminent players in WTA individual ranking.

USA’s Fed Cup Records

Firstly, Americans more than all other teams won the main trophy of the tournament - 17 times!

Secondly, the US women's team won the Federation Cup 7 times in a row (from 1976 to 1982), which is also a record of the Fed Cup. 11 more times they got into the final.

Third, the USA team holds a record for the number of matches won in a row - 37 (from 1976 to 1983) and 64 (from 1978 to 1983).

Fourthly, American tennis player, former world No.1 Chris Evert boasts a record long series of victories in the Federation Cup - 29 (from 1977 to 1986).

Chris Evert is the most capped American tennis player with 61 matches. She lost only four (!) times. Another famous representative of the US team is the founder of the Women's Tennis Association (WTA) Billie Jean King. Within the Federation Cup, she showed productive tennis primarily in the doubles matches and has 26 wins against one defeat. After the end of her career, she was a coach of the national team.

USA Squad: Who may come to Minsk?

At the moment, the US team consists of the following players:

- Venus Williams (WTA No.5)

- CoCo Vandeweghe (WTA No.12)

- Sloane Stephens (WTA No.13)

- Madison Keys (WTA No.16)

- Lauren Davis (WTA No.47)

- Shelby Rogers (WTA No.59)

- Christina McHale (WTA No.65)

- Alison Riske (WTA No.70)

- Bethanie Mattek-Sands (WTA No.121)

USA team captain: Kathy Rinaldi

Who will travel to Minsk? Let's look at some players’ recent performances.

In early autumn the US Open, the last Grand Slam tournament of the year, had a purely American semi-finals! The top four players of the USA competed for the main title: Williams the elder, CoCo Vandeweghe, Sloane Stephens and Madison Keys.

In these difficult matches, Sloane Stephens proved to be the strongest, defeating compatriot Madison Keys 6:3, 6:0.

Imagine that just 2 months before the tournament, Sloane was outside the top 900 of the world ranking!

The American made up for the lost points during the recovery from injury and climbed to the 83rd position by the end of summer!

Do not forget about another eminent representative of the USA - Venus Williams. Despite her age (37 years), she still proves to everyone that she is not going to retire. Former World No1, winner of 49 WTA titles, multiple winner of Grand Slam tournaments and Olympic Champion, both in singles and doubles, Venus continues to partake in the most prestigious tournaments. This year, she qualified for the WTA Final Tournament in Singapore.

Team USA: Way to Fed Cup Final

In 2017, USA played Germany in the quarterfinals and beat the without any problems 4:0.

Next, the US team was to meet the most serious rival - many-time winner and last year's Federation Cup Champion, leaders of the ranking - the Czech team. The match fate was decided only in the last doubles match.

Americans CoCo Vandeweghe and Bethanie Mattek-Sands took advantage of the chance and literally snatched victory from the Czechs, Kateřina Siniaková and Kristýna Plíšková. The US team is once again in the final and is fighting for a record 18th Champion title.

Will Belarusian tennis players prevent them from another win?

Belarus v USA: Head-to-head

The USA and Belarus met only once in the first round of World Group II. It was in February 2012, the year when Azarenka won bronze in the singles and gold in the doubles. Azarenka could not play through injury, so Olga Govortsova, Anastasiya Yakimova and Daria Kustova played for Belarus. The USA did not have problems and won 5:0, headed by their leader Serena Williams.

Christina McHale v Anastasiya Yakimova - 6:0, 6:4;

Serena Williams v Olga Govortsova - 7:5, 6:0;

Serena Williams v Anastasiya Yakimova - 5:7, 6:1, 6:1;

Christina McHale v Daria Kustova - 6:0, 6:1;

Liezel Huber / Venus Williams v Daria Kustova / Anastasia Yakimava - 6:1, 6:2.

Obvious winners?

The USA are the first champions of the Federation Cup. They won it in 1963, the very first year of the tournament. But USA have not won a single Fed Cup trophy since 2000.

This is the longest time between victories in the Federation Cup for the United States. Since 2000, the team lost three times in the tournament finals, the last of which was in 2010. After 7 years, the team once again managed to reach the final once again.

Will the USA team break the negative trend and take the Federation Cup out of Belarus' hands? Will Belarus be able to resist to fight against 17-time holders of the Federation Cup? Come to Minsk's Chizhovka Arena on 11-12 November, where the winner of the prestigious tournament will be decided.

Bookies say USA are somewhat favorites, but are quite cautious. Anyways, this match will be one of the most significant events for Belarusian tennis. If you are in Minsk these days, come and see the spectacular show!