| By Long Island Tennis Magazine Staff

Photo Credit: Twitter/@Shelby_Rogers_

The United States defeated top-seed and three-time defending champions Czech Republic 3-2 to reach the Fed Cup Final at Saddlebrook Resort in Florida on Sunday.

After splitting the first two rubbers, the two squads entered Sunday all even at 1-1 with three matches remaining.

Coco Vandeweghe stepped up and gave the Americans the 2-1 lead with a 6-4, 6-0 win over Katerina Siniakova in Sunday’s opener, but the Czech Republic answered right back. Playing in her first Fed Cup action, teenager Marketa Vondrousova beat Lauren Davis 6-2, 7-5 to send the semifinal into a deciding fifth match.

Vandeweghe once again stepped up, pairing with Bethanie Mattek-Sands to beat Siniakova and Kristyna Pliskova 6-2, 6-3 to clinch the United States victory.

“It was an amazing day as a team and it shows that every point counts in this event,” said Vandeweghe. “We all came together when it mattered most and that’s what you expect out of a Fed Cup tie. We deserve to be in the finals.”

In the finals, the Americans will go on the road to face off with Belarus, who upended Switzerland 3-2 in its semifinal.

“We’re just looking forward to it. We’re going to be there, we’re going to be a team, we’re going to have each other’s back and we’re going to compete,” USA captain Kathy Rinaldi said. “These girls take great pride in representing the USA and it’s a special week to be in the final.”

The final is slated for November 11-12.