Vandeweghe, Stephens open play Vs Belarus in Fed Cup final

Fed Cup final draw: USA's Coco Vandeweghe to face Belarus' Alikasandra Sasnovich in opening rubber

Belarus hosts the United States in the best-of-five-match final at an indoor hard court in Minsk on Saturday and Sunday.

Stephens, who won the US Open this year for her first major title, missed the opening two rounds of the worldwide team competition because of a foot injury.

Belarus and United States are locked at 1-1 after the first day of singles action at the Fed Cup final in Minsk.

"It is heart-breaking for me to not have a chance to play and help Belarus in the final but unfortunately, my current custody situation is keeping me in California", the 28-year-old said in a statement posted on her Twitter account.

"This is my A-team, I believe in its strength and the work that we have done to get this far". "It's easy to be with girls you like, girls you have fun with and girls you've been around for a really long time". But she only played six matches this season and is now ranked 208th. She retired with a knee injury from her last match against Barbora Strycova in China last week.


Vandeweghe broke in the opening games of both sets at Chizhovka Arena and didn't face a break point on her serve in the opener. "I feel like I'm coming in with wool over my eyes a little bit".

Should the tie go to a deciding fifth rubber, American 2016 French Open quarter-finalist Shelby Rogers and January's Shenzhen Open runner-up Alison Riske will take on Belarus duo Vera Lapko and Lidziya Marozava in doubles. The 17-time champions US claimed their last title in 2000 and have lost three finals since - to France in 2003 and Italy in 2009 and 2010.

"It would be a great honor to be named as another female (champion) captain alongside Billie Jean", said Rinaldi, who is in her first year as captain.

She added: "While it has been a tough year for me, I am already looking forward to 2018 and playing before my fans very soon".

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