2017 YEAR IN REVIEW: TEAM USA WINS 2017 FED CUP TITLE
Love-15: As 2017 draws to a close, USTA.com is taking a look back at the top 15 storylines, headlines and highlights from the year in American tennis. Up now: Team USA's women added some silver to the red, white and blue in November when it lifted the biggest prize in team tennis.
Led by a historic effort from Coco Vandeweghe, Team USA won its first Fed Cup title in 17 years with a dramatic 3-2 win over Belarus in Minsk.
Vandeweghe teamed with Shelby Rogers to defeat Belarus' Aliaksandra Sasnovich and Aryna Sabalenka, 6-3, 7-6, in the fifth and deciding final match to give the U.S. victory in the Belarusian capital to capture its record-extending 18th Fed Cup crown.
The U.S. finals team also consisted of reigning US Open champion Sloane Stephens and Alison Riske. Bethanie Mattek-Sands and Lauren Davis also represented Team USA earlier in the 2017 Fed Cup campaign, with Mattek-Sands teaming with Vandeweghe to win the decisive doubles match in the semifinals against the Czech Republic..
The win gives first-year U.S. captain Kathy Rinaldi a title in her debut at the helm and makes her the first female captain since Billie Jean King in 2000 to win the title, also the last time the cup returned to American soil.
Vandeweghe became the only American player in Fed Cup history to win three points in one tie twice in the same year. With two wins against Germany in the quarterfinal and three wins against the defending champion Czech Republic in the semifinal, she became the first player, from any nation, to win eight points in a single season since the current eight-team format was introduced in 2005. And she is also the first player since Petra Kvitova in 2011 to win the maximum six singles matches in one year.
"This is something that we're going to treasure for the rest of our lives," Rinaldi said. "These players were incredible. This was an incredible venue, incredible atmosphere. This moment was amazing."