It felt like a long time coming for 20-year-old Sofia Kenin, but this past weekend was just her third Fed Cup appearance and she came away the hero. The American clinched the victory for the U.S. to beat Switzerland in the World Group Play-Off tie in San Antonio.
“I mean I’m like speechless as it’s my first win in Fed Cup,” Kenin said. “I’m honestly so happy.”
She beat former world No. 9 Timea Bacsinszky, 6-3, 7-6 (4) on Sunday to secure the 3-1 victory. The day before, Madison Keys lost the opening singles rubber to Viktorija Golubic, and Sloane Stephens evened things out with a 6-4, 6-3 win over Bacsinszky.
On Sunday, Stephens backed up her win with another straight-set victory, over Golubic, 6-3, 6-2, setting Kenin up to finish the job. Prior to coming to Texas, Kenin was 0-3 in Fed Cup action, having dropped two matches against the Czech Republic in her debut during the Fed Cup final last November, and losing to Ashleigh Barty in a loss to the Australians in February.
Speaking of Barty, the Australian posted three points in the Fed Cup semifinals to push her team past Belarus, 3-2 in Brisbane. Barty beat Victoria Azarenka and Aryna Sabalenka in singles, before joining forces with Samantha Stosur to seal the deciding doubles match in three sets, again over Azarenka and Sabalenka.
Australia will face France in November for the title. France's semifinal over Romania also came down to the deciding doubles match which Kristina Mladenovic and Caroline Garcia won in three sets over Simona Halep and Monica Niculescu.