On Sunday, the U.S. women won the Fed Cup, the biggest team event in women's tennis, for the first time since 2000. Americans CoCo Vandeweghe and Shelby Rogers beat Belarussians Aryna Sabalenka and Aliaksandra Sasnovich in the final doubles match in Minsk, Belarus.
The Fed Cup is a tournament that takes place over the course of 10 months, with matches all over the world. The USA competed against Belarus, Germany, France, Switzerland, the Czech Republic, Spain and the Netherlands in matches beginning in February.
This weekend marked home team Belarus' first appearance in the Fed Cup final, and the teams were tied 2-2 after the singles matches on Saturday, the Associated Press reported. Sasnovich defeated US Open champion Sloane Stephens 4-6, 6-1, 8-6. This was Stephens' sixth loss since she won her first ever Grand Slam last summer. It was up to the doubles team of Vandeweghe and Rogers to break the tie on Sunday. The final score was 6-3, 7-6 (3).
This has been a huge week for Vandeweghe, who just reached her career-high ranking of No. 10 in women's singles.
"I set a goal at the start of the year to make Top 10. Going on to achieve one of my all time goals has been amazing ride," she wrote on Instagram Monday. "With @fedcuptennis around the corner I’m ready to finish the year on a high note!"
The U.S. hasn't always been the underdog in this competition. It is currently the team with the most wins, 18, since the tournament began in 1963. But 17 years is a long time in tennis, and the women on the last victorious team were Lindsay Davenport, Monica Seles, Jennifer Capriati and Lisa Raymond.
Unlike most events in this individual sport, this is a true team effort, as Vandeweghe explained after their win.
"That’s exactly what Fed Cup’s about: you have your teammates supporting you all weekend, and when they’re called upon, they come through," she said in the on-court interview, per the WTA site. "[Shelby] definitely carried me through most of that match when it mattered."