Danielle Collins did her part to push the United States to a deciding doubles rubber. (AP)

The United States hosted a strong Australian Fed Cup in North Carolina this weekend, and despite vocal home support, fell in a dramatic tie, 3-2.

Action in Asheville began on Saturday with singles. Australia's No. 1 Ashleigh Barty, coming in from a quarterfinal run in Melbourne, eased past 20-year-old Sofia Kenin, 6-1, 7-6 (2). 

Kenin was showing her trademark fighting spirit, but it wasn't enough to upset the world No. 13. 

Madison Keys then stepped up to the plate for the United States, delivering a dismissive 6-2, 6-2 win over Kimberly Birrell. 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Excited to rep @teamusatennis this weekend ????????????

A post shared by Madison Keys (@madisonkeys) on

In the clash between No. 1's on Sunday, Barty edged Keys, 6-4, 6-1 before Danielle Collins came to the rescue.

Collins, a recent Australian Open semifinalist, needed to win to keep the U.S. in the tie. She battled to beat Daria Gavrilova in three sets, surviving a never-ending game at 2-2 in the third set to cruise to victory, 6-1, 3-6, 6-2.

The 25-year-old also came to the rescue for a shy Fed Cup mascot. 

Gavrilova may not have contributed a point on the court, but she gave all kinds of support from the sidelines.

As the deciding doubles match began, tension was at an all-time high in the US Cellular Arena, but the away team would not be denied. Barty teamed up with Priscilla Hon to seal the semifinal spot for Australia, 6-4, 7-5 over Collins and Nicole Melichar.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

These are the best moments ???????? How bloody good is Fed Cup! ????????

A post shared by Ash Barty (@ashbar96) on

It was an exciting and dramatic weekend for both teams, and even with the United States falling, they tested Australia to the limit. 


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