Serena Williams’ winning streak over and Sofia Kenin also beaten, but US still into Fed Cup Finals

Serena Williams reaction

Serena Williams suffered her first-ever Fed Cup singles defeat and Sofia Kenin also went down, but the United States still qualified for the Finals after Kenin and Bethanie Mattek-Sands won the deciding doubles rubber against Latvia.

After taking a commanding lead on Friday with Williams and Kenin winning their singles matches, the United States were pegged back as Latvia stormed back to level it at 2-2.

Former Roland Garros champion Jelena Ostapenko reduced the deficit as she beat newly-crowned Australian Open champion Kenin 6-3, 2-6, 6-2.

“Honestly it’s very special to play for my country and I was just trying my best,” Ostapenko said.

“I was fighting until the last point,” she said. “I knew it was going to be a very tough match and the key thing for me was just to play aggressive.”

World No 41 Anastasija Sevastova then stunned former world No 1 Williams 7-6 (7-5), 3-6, 7-6 (7-4), ending the 23-time Grand Slam winner’s 14-match winning singles streak in the competition to draw Latvia level at 2-2.

“We were playing in the USA so obviously the crowd was going to be for Serena. I just tried to give it my best,” Sevastova said after the clash in Seattle.

And so it was up to the doubles pairings to decide the rubber and Kenin and Mattek-Sands got the job done for the hosts as they claimed a fairly straightforward 6-4, 6-0 victory over Ostapenko and Sevastova in one hour and 15 minutes.

The US secured their place in April’s Finals in Budapest along with Australia, France, Czech Republic, Spain, Russia, Germany, Belarus, Switzerland, Belgium, and Slovakia, as well as hosts Hungary.

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