USA complete line-up for Fed Cup finals in Budapest
Twelve teams have qualified for the inaugural Fed Cup Finals
Last Updated: 11/02/20 12:32pm
Team USA beat Lativa to become the last team to secure a place at the Fed Cup finals in April.
The side were one of eight teams to secure places in the competition's new final after a weekend of Fed Cup Qualifiers.
The Fed Cup has followed the men's Davis Cup competition by adopting a multi-nation finals tournament in one city which will take place at the Laszlo Papp Budapest Sports Arena on April 14-19.
Ahead of the weekend's qualifiers, four teams had already confirmed their places in Budapest; the 2019 champions and runners-up France and Australia, the Czech Republic as a wild card and the host nation Hungary.
Fed Cup Qualifiers - Results
|USA 3-2 Latvia|
|Netherlands 2-3 Belarus|
|Romania 2-3 Russia|
|Brazil 0-4 Germany|
|Spain 3-1 Japan|
|Switzerland 3-1 Canada|
|Belgium 3-1 Kazakhstan|
|Slovakia 3-1 Great Britain|
Serena Williams and Sofia Kenin, the newly crowned Australian Open champion, opened Team USA's campaign with victories on Friday over Jelena Ostapenko and Anastasija Sevastova.
However, the pair lost the reserve fixtures on Saturday. Ostapenko roared to a 6-3 2-6 6-2 result against Kenin while Sevastova's 7-6 (7-5) 3-6 7-6 (7-4) win handed Williams' her first career singles defeat in the team event.
USA - Fed Cup Stats
The USA have lifted the Fed Cup trophy 18 times previously, more than any other nation.
Before being beaten by Anastasija Sevastova, Serena Williams had a 14-0 winning singles' record at the tournament.
With the tie locked at 2-2, it went to the final match and the pairing of Bethanie Mattek-Sands and Kenin held their nerve to triumph over Ostapenko and Sevastova.
The 6-4 6-0 scoreline was a reflection of the fatigue the Latvians faced after longer matches earlier in the tie.
"I'm super excited," USA team captain Kathy Rinaldi said on the Fed Cup website. "We are very happy to have won this match against a tough opponent.
"The way they play, they could easily have been contenders for Budapest too. So, we should take confidence from this match and I'm really looking forward to April."
Spain eased past Japan to book their place Budapest after a notable tie which included Sara Sorribes beating the former world No 1, Naomi Osaka, in straight sets at La Manga Club.
Sorribes dropped just three games in total as she looked at ease on court and thrashed Osaka 6-0 6-3. The match, which lasted for an hour and 17 minutes, provided a 2-0 lead for the hosts and from there Carla Suarez Navarro finished the job.
Suarez Navarro has already announced that the 2020 season will be the final one of her professional career, and she bowed out of her last Fed Cup home match with a 6-1 6-3 victory over Kurumi Nara.
Elsewhere, the four-time winners Russia edged out Romania in Cluj as Anna Blinkova and Anna Kalinskaya won the deciding doubles rubber against Jaqueline Adina Cristian and Elena Gabriela Ruse.
Belgium and Kazakhstan were locked at 1-1 overnight, but Elise Mertens beat Yulia Putintseva 6-1 7-6 (7-1) before Kirsten Flipkens secured the winning point by triumphing over Zarina Diyas, also in straight sets, in Kortrijk.
GB miss out on Fed Cup Finals
Great Britain missed out on a place in the new-look Fed Cup Finals after Harriet Dart's defeat gave Slovakia an unassailable 3-1 lead in Bratislava.
Switzerland had too much to handle for a less-experienced Canadian side, despite Leylah Annie Fernandez's stunning victory over Belinda Bencic.
Canada had travelled to face Switzerland in Biel without Bianca Andreescu and Eugenie Bouchard and trailed 2-0 after Friday's action.
Fernandez's 6-2 7-6 (7-3) victory over Bencic boosted them but doubles specialist a Gaby Dabrowski fell to Jil Teichmann 6-3 6-4 and that quickly brought the tie to a 3-1 conclusion in the home team's favour.
Germany were far too strong for Brazil in Florianopolis and Laura Siegemund's second win of the weekend created her side's unassailable 3-0 lead.
Belarus came back from 2-1 down to squeeze past the Netherlands 3-2. Aliaksandra Sasnovich and Aryna Sabalenka beat Kiki Bertens and Demi Schuurs 4-6 6-3 7-6 (10-8) in the final doubles thriller.
Great Britain missed out on a place in Budapest after Harriet Dart's defeat gave Slovakia an unassailable 3-1 lead in Bratislava.