Fed Cup: Spain qualify for Finals with 3-1 win over Japan

February 8, 2020
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    Spain celebrate victory

    Spain are chasing a sixth Fed Cup title

    Carla Suarez Navarro completed Spain’s win over Japan to secure the five-time champions’ place in the Fed Cup Finals.

    Suarez Navarro, who will retire this year, beat Kurumi Nara 6-1 6-3.

    On Friday, the 31-year-old defeated Misaki Doi in straight sets after Sara Sorribes Tormo had stunned former world number one Naomi Osaka.

    Earlier, Serena Williams beat Jelena Ostapenko in straight sets to give the United States a 2-0 lead in their qualifier against Latvia.

    After Suarez Navarro’s victory, Japan’s Shuko Aoyama and Ena Shibahara won the concluding doubles rubber in Cartagena, Murcia, beating Lara Arruabarrena and Aliona Bolsova Zadoinov 6-2 6-3.

    Spain, who last won the title in 1998, join the already-qualified Australia, France, Czech Republic and Hungary as one of the 12 nations set to play in April’s new-look Fed Cup Finals in Budapest.

    “We wanted to be in Budapest so much and we are there, so I’m so happy,” said Suarez Navarro.

    “It’s going to be a really good event with all the best players there. Spain have a really good team and we believe we can be strong in Budapest in two months or so.”

    Williams puts US in control

    Serena Williams

    Williams is unbeaten in 14 Fed Cup singles matches

    In Everett, Washington, 23-time Grand Slam champion Williams defeated 2017 French Open winner Ostapenko 7-6 (7-4) 7-6 (7-3) overnight to put the US in a dominant position in their qualifying tie.

    That came after newly crowned Australian Open champion Sofia Kenin beat Anastasija Sevastova 6-2 6-2 in the first rubber.

    “It’s been a long journey. It wasn’t easy,” said world number seven Kenin.

    “But I was super happy to come here and play with the team.”

    Williams added: “I’m really proud of being able to get the win for the team. I’m really excited that I was able to go through it.”

    The qualifier continues from 23:30 GMT with Kenin taking on Ostapenko in the third rubber.

    Source

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