Fed Cup: Americans Rally Against Russia, Advance to Finals

Bethanie Mattek-Sands strung up two consecutive wins to help the United States advance to the final by edging Russia in a down-the-wire semifinal, 3-2. Mattek-Sands first kept the U.S. Team alive by winning her reverse singles match against Ekaterina Makarova, 6-4, 2-6, 6-3, before teaming up with Liezel Huber to sweep Elena Dementieva and Alla Kudryavtseva, 6-3, 6-1, in the deciding doubles match.

Dementieva had put Russia on the brink of reaching the final after defeating Melanie Oudin, 7-6, 0-6, 6-3, in the first reverse singles. However, Mattek-Sands rose to the occasion and help the U.S. stay on track for an 18th title.

The Americans will face defending champion Italy, which swept the Czech Republic, 5-0, for its fourth final appearance in five years. The U.S. has won 17 Fed Cup titles, the most by any country but the Americans lost to the Italians in last year’s final showdown. The Americans last won the Fed Cup in 2000. The final will take place in November this year.