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Opublikowany: 2018-02-11 20:04:46 · Czytany 701 razy · 0 komentarzy
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United States Wins Fed Cup Opener Against The Netherlands

Fot: Justin Cohen

ASHEVILLE, N.C. – There was a certain buzz around the tennis world this weekend. Serena Williams, a new mother, returned to competitive tennis for the first time since winning the 2017 Australian Open.

Serena, sister Venus Williams and Coco Vandeweghe teamed up for Team USA this weekend in beautiful Asheville at the U.S. Cellular Center to help the defending Fed Cup Champions advance past The Netherlands in the First Round Tie. 

The Americans scored a convincing 3-1 victory in front of a sold-out crowd of 5,208, both on Saturday and Sunday.

The United States got out to a lead with Venus Williams cruising past World No. 124 Aranxta Rus 6-1, 6-4 in one hour and 21 minutes in the first match of the weekend. The match marked Venus’ 1,000th career professional singles match.

Currently, No. 8 in the WTA Rankings and owner of seven major singles titles, the Palm Beach Gardens native improved her Fed Cup career singles record to 20-2. Williams traveled to North Carolina with hopes of jump-starting her year after an opening round loss to Belinda Bencic at the Australian Open.

“Yeah, I’m excited to have matches,” Williams referring to her slow start to the 2018 season. “I think I am playing well. I just had some bad luck. I played players who were just on fire.”

In the second match of the afternoon, 2017 US Open Semifinalist CoCo Vandewaghe had to rally after a very slow start to get past World No. 108 Richel Hogenkamp. The American, currently ranked No. 17, dropped the opening set 6-4 and then found herself in a big hole down 0-3.

After getting her frustration out by smashing her racquet, Vandewaghe went on to win the second set in a tiebreak, before cruising 6-3 in the third and final set, putting Kathy Rinaldi’s squad up 2-0 heading into Sunday’s matches.

“Obviously, you have the momentum and with what CoCo did was amazing to get us into position and Venus got us off to a great start,” said United States caption, Kathy Rinaldi.

The United States clinched the victory on Sunday afternoon when Venus defeated Hogenkamp in the first match of reverse singles, 7-5, 6-1 in one hour and six minutes.

With the tie secure for the Americans, the second singles match of the day was not played. Rianldi delighted the crowd during the victory celebration by announcing that Serena and Venus would team up to play Lesley Kerkhove and Demi Schuurs in a dead rubber doubles match.

Despite all the hype for weeks of Serena’s return to competitive tennis, Serena seemed a bit slow with her footwork and a bit out of sorts with her game from the baseline. The Netherlands duo cruised to a 6-2, 6-3 win to close out the weekend.

“It felt really good to back on the court,” said Serena, who gave birth to daughter Alexis Olympia just five months ago.

Serena owns 23 major singles titles, just one behind Margaret Court for most of all-time in the open era.

Next up for the United States will be a semifinal match at France from April 21-22.

 

 

 

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