Vandeweghe seals the win for U.S. Fed Cup team against Australia

April 17, 2016 08:31 AM

By Jackie Finn,

Team USA is back in the World Group for 2017 following CoCo Vandeweghe’s three-set victory over No. 26 Samantha Stosur in Sunday’s first reverse singles match, played on an outdoor clay court in Pat Rafter Arena at the Queensland Tennis Centre in Brisbane.

The victory gave the U.S. an insurmountable 3-0 advantage in what would become a 4-0 victory for the Americans in the 2016 Fed Cup World Group Playoff. The victory means the U.S. will once again contend for the Fed Cup championship in 2017, while Australia will be relegated to World Group II for next season.

Team USA has won 17 Fed Cup titles, the most of any nation, but has not competed in the World Group since 2014.

The first match of the day, originally scheduled to feature Keys versus Stosur, saw No. 36 Vandeweghe substituted in to play for the U.S. Captains had the ability to make changes to their lineup prior to Sunday’s play.

“You take into account matchups, surface, everybody’s health and you make your best choice based on all the information that you have,” U.S. captain Mary Joe Fernandez said regarding the lineup change. “So we thought that that was the best way to go today and, fortunately, everybody played really well and got the win.”

Vandeweghe, who took down Stosur in straight sets the two times they met last year – at the Australian Open and Wimbledon – had to fight from a set down Sunday to beat the Australian, 2-6, 7-5, 6-4, to clinch the victory for the United States.

The victory was the first Fed Cup singles career win for Vandeweghe, who also improved her head-to-head against Stosur to 4-1.

“This is the first time we ever played on clay, all the other surfaces were quicker, hard courts or grass. So I knew this would be more well suited for her game, she’d be more comfortable than I would be,” Vandeweghe said after the win. “But I still stuck to my game plan of trying to implement my game to her before she could definitely get me off balance and that’s pretty much what I try to do against her most of the time when we play.”

The second singles match between Christina McHale and Daria Gavrilova was not played. The doubles match between the U.S. team of Bethanie Mattek-Sands and Vandeweghe against Daria Gavrilova and Arina Rodionova saw the Americans prevail, 6-1, 6-4.

The U.S. took a 2-0 lead on Saturday behind victories by Keys (over Gavrilova) and McHale (over Stosur).

“It’s a team effort and everybody worked really hard all week and they worked with each other, supporting each other,” Fernandez said. “The whole team is MVP, they all did their part, they all contributed. So I couldn’t be more proud of each and every one of them.”

With the win, the U.S. remains undefeated at 22-0 when leading after the first day of play (since the World Group format was instituted in 1995). The U.S. also improved their record all-time when playing Fed Cup ties on the road to 10-12. 

The 2017 Fed Cup draw will be announced in mid-November, after the World Group Final.