With the Fed Cup trophy shining courtside on Saturday and a sell-out crowd, each top player for the USA and Belarus Fed Cup team prevailed on Day 1 of the World Group final in Minsk, ending the day with the tie even at 1-1. Our photographer Jimmie48 was in Chizhovka Arena to capture all the action: first the win of top-ranked American and world No.10 Coco Vandeweghe over Belarus No.2 and world No.87 Aliaksandra Sasnovich 6-4 6-4, followed by the victory of Belarus’ top-ranked player and world No.76 Aryna Sabalenka over American No.2 and world No.13 Sloane Stephens 6-3 3-6 6-4.
The United States and Belarus Fed Cup teams will each be vying for the 2017 Fed Cup title tomorrow. Sunday’s matches will be scheduled between each country’s No.1 players and No.2 players, followed by a decisive doubles match, if necessary.
The first Sunday’s match will be a meeting between Saturday’s winners Coco Vandeweghe and Aryna Sabalenka, followed by Sloane Stephens vs. Aliaksandra Sasnovich. Nominated for the doubles rubber, played after a 30-minute break following the second singles match, are Shelby Rogers and Alison Riske for the USA and Vera Lapko and Lidziya Marozava for Belarus. Captains can substitute their originally nominated singles and doubles players before the start of each rubber on Sunday.
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Sloane surprisingly is winless since US Open. I hope she finds her groove again soon.