This is what Federation Cup tennis is all about. Two players oozing pride and passion for there country and pushing each other to the limit, well done Aryna Sabalenka and Sloane Stephens.
The #76 ranked, 19-year-old Belarussian Sabalenka hung in there when she looked under the cosh in the third set. Stephens showed US Open winning feistiness to level the match at one set a piece. A partisan home crowd played their part in a 6-3, 3-6, 6-4 victory for the hosts.
Sabalenka v Vandeweghe key 3rd rubber
Aryna Sabalenka must have felt like she’d won the US Open herself, given all of the emotional and physical effort she put into this quality tennis match. However, she needs to get right back out there. Sabalenka maybe even needs to go up another level in order to put Belarus in the driver’s seat against USA, as she takes on their Federation Cup heroine, Coco Vandeweghe
This is a key match, as Vandeweghe deafeatedAliaksandra Sasnovich in the first rubber in two sets, early on in the day, to give the USA a great start. There is no head-to-head between these players, but this is a one off match anyway and both players will raise their games. It is unfortunate for the hosts that Sabalenka will have less rest time between matches than Vandeweghe. That will all be forgotten about when the players take to the court and the adrenalin starts pumping.
Tie in the balance
Sasnovich takes on Sloane Stephens in the fourth rubber. Then if the tie in still in the balance it is Vera Lapko and Lidziya Marozava versus Alison Riske and Shelby Rogers for the USA, in what could be a deciding rubber. Vandeweghe will be the most agonized person on the sidelines, as she is a handy doubles player herself and is fiercely passionate about the Federation Cup. Will she and her compatriots regret her not taking part in the doubles?
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