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U.S. Fed Cup team celebrates. (Photo credit: Twitter/USTA)

U.S. and Belarus to Meet in Fed Cup Final

WESLEY CHAPEL, Fla. (AP) -- CoCo Vandeweghe and Bethanie Mattek-Sands defeated Kristyna Pliskova and Katerina Siniakova 6-2, 6-3 Sunday to send the United States to its first Fed Cup final in seven years with a 3-2 semifinal victory over three-time defending champion Czech Republic.

The Americans will face Belarus, which won its semifinal against Switzerland, for the championship Nov. 11- 12.

Vandeweghe won her singles match for the second straight day, giving the U.S. a 2-1 lead in the best-of-five series. Marketa Vondrousova kept the Czech Republic's hopes alive by defeating Lauren Davis 6-2, 7-5 in Sunday's other singles match at Saddlebrook Resort.

Vandeweghe and Mattek-Sands won the decisive doubles match in one hour, 21 minutes.

The Americans, who have won 17 Fed Cup titles, advanced to the final for the first time since 2010.

The Czechs had won the top team event in women's tennis the past three years and five of the last six.

Meanwhile Belarus surprised a higher-rated Swiss team 3-2 to reach its first-ever Fed Cup final Sunday.

No. 125-ranked Aryna Sabalenka gave the Belarusians an unassailable 3-1 lead in the best-of-five match as she beat Viktorija Golubic 6-3, 2-6, 6-4. The Swiss then won a dead rubber.

The Belarusian victory sets up a final against the United States in November, when Belarus should have the services of former No. 1-ranked player Victoria Azarenka.

With the two-time Australian Open champion due to return to competition in July after taking time out to raise her first child, Belarus was left with the No. 96-ranked Aliaksandra Sasnovich as its team leader.

Sasnovich stepped up in style, beating Golubic 6-3, 5-7, 7-5 on Saturday and then Timea Bacsinszky 6-2, 7-6 (2) in Sunday's first rubber.

All three of the Belarusian singles wins this weekend came against players ranked at least 40 places higher.

The Swiss recorded one win Saturday, when Bacsinszky beat Sabalenka 6-4, 7-5, and another when Martina Hingis and Belinda Bencic cruised to a 6-0, 6-1 defeat of Olga Govortsova and Vera Lapko in the last dead doubles rubber.

Switzerland had been seeking to reach its second Fed Cup final. Veteran Hingis also played in its first final in 1998, winning two rubbers and losing the decisive doubles encounter in a 3-2 loss to Spain.

Azarenka watched this weekend's match with the Belarusian team and joined their celebrations only to receive an accidental kick to the face from Sabalenka as the 18-year-old was hoisted aloft by her teammates. Azarenka seemed surprised but reacted with good cheer.

"It's okay," she wrote on Twitter, commenting on footage of the incident. "See you in the final!"

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