Fed Cup: Vandeweghe, Sasnovich to kick things off

USA will take on Belarus in the Fed Cup final this weekend, in Minsk, as it aims to end its longest title drought in the event.

The US team is made up of world number 10 CoCo Vandeweghe, US Open champion Sloane Stephens, Shelby Rogers and Alison Riske.   -  Getty Images

The United States will take on Belarus in the Fed Cup final as it aims to win its first title in 17 years.

The 17-time champion USA has been in three finals since the turn of the century, losing to France in 2003 and Italy in 2009 and 2010.

Fixtures:

Saturday
Aliaksandra Sasnovich (BLR) v CoCo Vandeweghe (USA)
Aryna Sabalenka (BLR) v Sloane Stephens (USA)

Sunday
Aryna Sabalenka (BLR) v CoCo Vandeweghe (USA)
Aliaksandra Sasnovich (BLR) v Sloane Stephens (USA)
Vera Lapko/Lidziya Marozawa (BLR) v Alison Riske/Shelby Rogers (USA)

It will have to do without Serena and Venus Williams, who have skipped the Fed Cup this season, but team USA is individually superior to its Belarus counterparts as the American players are all ranked higher than Belarus' best. The latter's highest ranked player is Aryna Sabalenka, who is 78th in the world.

Meanwhile, Belarus will not have the services of former World No: 1 Victoria Azarenka, because of an ongoing custody battle over her baby son.

Azarenka was forced to skip the US Open in August after a Los Angeles judge ruled that 10-month old Leo could not leave California until the case had been settled.

"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.

"Even though I will not be in Minsk for the final my heart is always with my country and my team and I will cheer for them from afar."

 

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