United States of America set up Czech Fed Cup final

Fed Cup: No Serena and Venus Williams, no problem as USA aim to cement place in second consecutive final

Fed Cup: No Serena and Venus Williams, no problem as USA aim to cement place in second consecutive final

Keys, who was a late replacement for CoCo Vandeweghe, then stepped up to conquer Pauline Parmentier in a 7-6 6-4 victory to send the U.S. through to their second consecutive final.

Konta and Watson looked to be cruising in the doubles before Miyu Kato and Makoto Ninomiya hit back to win 3-6, 6-3, 6-3, ending British hopes of breaking back into the Fed Cup's top 16 for the first time since 1993. Stephens went 2-0 over the weekend to lead the team after losing both of her singles matches in the Final a year ago.

"We had a great position from yesterday, I think Julia played a really good match".

But she was unable to repeat those heroics against the US Open champion who had given the Americans their first point when defeating Parmentier 7-6 (7/3), 7-5 in Saturday's opening rubber.

"I love playing Fed Cup", said Keys.

Keys took an early 3-2 lead in the second set, forcing an error with another solid service return on break point, but a pumped Parmentier quickly tied the set at 3-3 after a scintillating backhand passing shot, sending the French crowd and her captain, Yannick Noah, into a frenzy alongside her.

A missed Konta volley gave the Japanese breathing space in the final set before Ninomiya's crunching forehand on their third match point completed a fighting comeback win after two hours, 11 minutes. Mattek-Sands and Vandeweghe had both been undefeated in Fed Cup doubles play.

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Waiting for the United States in the November final are the Czechs, who swept past Germany 4-1 in the other semi-final in Stuttgart.

Captain Kathy Rinaldi, of Orlando, has had a very successful run as U.S. Fed Cup Captain since being named Captain in 2017, now holding a ideal 5-0 record at the post. Fed Cup is special.

The Czechs had won the title three times in a row until the U.S. dethroned them past year. Rinaldi now serves as Lead National Coach, Team USA - Pro Women for USTA Player Development.

Keys, 13th in the world, defeated the 122nd-ranked Parmentier 7-6 (7/4), 6-4 to earn the defending champions a November clash with the Czech Republic, who eased past Germany 4-1 in the other semi-final in Stuttgart.

But it was a firing Petra Kvitova that sealed the deal for the Czech team, as she overcame former world number one Angelique Kerber 6-2, 6-2 in just 58 minutes to send them through to the final.

Rafael Nadal is the first to win a tournament 11 times with his record 31st Masters title.