Tennis: U.S. advances to Fed Cup final against Italy
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — Bethanie Mattek-Sands and Liezel Huber sent the United States into the Fed Cup final with a 6-3, 6-1 doubles victory over Russia's Elena Dementieva and Alla Kudryavtseva today.
The Americans will meet defending champion Italy for the second straight year in the final in November at an undetermined site in the United States. The U.S. has won a record 17 times.
Mattek-Sands beat Ekaterina Makarova 6-4, 2-6, 6-3 earlier Sunday to keep the U.S. title hopes alive. Dementieva's 7-6 (7-4), 0-6, 6-3 win over Melanie Oudin had put the Russians up 2-1.
Mattek-Sands became the first American to win consecutive live matches — fourth singles and then doubles — to close out a Fed Cup match since the best-of-five format was adopted in 1995.
Captain Mary Joe Fernandez (1996) and Lindsay Davenport (1995) are the only Americans to win two last-day live matches.