Serena Williams Leads US Fed Cup Squad Back Into World Group

 

The United States is back in the World Group of Fed Cup thanks to 5-0 sweep of Ukraine on an outdoor red clay court at the Superior Golf and Spa Resort in Kharkiv, Ukraine.

After leading 2-0 after Day One, Serena Williams opened play on Sunday and clinched the tie with a 6-3, 6-2, win over Lesia Tsurenko.

“It is good. I feel really good about it,” said Williams. “Now we are back in the World Group, where we wanted to be and it feels really good to get two points and that way Christina does not have too much pressure out there like she did for me yesterday.”

The win gives Williams an 8-0 record in her Fed Cup singles career in live rubbers.

“It is good to have Mary Joe (Fernandez US Fed Cup Captain) out there. I told her at the beginning of the week, whatever you want to tell me, tell me. I am all ears, I am all open and I am open to any suggestions. I am out there to learn. I feel like I am a kid learning. I haven’t accomplished everything. It is good to have a coach and different eyes out there.”

 

In the dead rubber singles match, Christina McHale won her fourth consecutive live rubber match in Fed Cup defeating Elina Svitolina 7-5, 6-3.

“I am really happy with how this week went practice-wise and how the matches went. We have a lot of fun, the whole team does, the whole time. It has been a great week [in Ukraine].” said McHale.

“That was our goal to get back into the World Group. I think we are all really excited about that. We have had two really good ties this year, and I am really pleased with how they went.”

 

In doubles, Liezel Huber teamed up with Sloane Stephens to defeat Lyudmyla Kichenok and Nadiya Kichenok 6-4, 6-1 in a dead rubber. The doubles match also marks the first tie Stephens has ever played in Fed Cup. She served as a practice partner during the 2012 World Group II First Round against Belarus and was a non-playing team member during the 2010 World Group Semifinal versus Russia. Stephens is now the 12th youngest player to make her Fed Cup debut for the U.S team at 19 years, 1 month.

 

DAY/LOCAL TIME     MATCH             PAIRING

Singles A:              Christina McHale (USA)  def. Lesia Tsurenko (UKR) 6-1, 4-6, 6-3

Singles B:             Serena Williams (USA) def.  Elina Svitolina (UKR) 6-2, 6-1

Singles C:            Serena Williams (USA) def. Lesia Tsurenko (UKR) 6-3, 6-2

Singles D:             Christina McHale (USA) def. Elina Svitolina (UKR) 7-5. 6-3

Doubles:                Liezel Huber and Sloane Stephens (USA) def. Lyudmyla Kichenok