Super Samsonova powers Russia past U.S. into Billie Jean King Cup final

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Tennis - Billie Jean King Cup - Finals - O2 Arena, Prague, Czech Republic - November 5, 2021 Russian Tennis Federation's Liudmila Samsonova reacts successful her lucifer against Sloane Stephens of the U.S. during the semi last REUTERS/David W Cerny

PRAGUE, Nov 5 (Reuters) - Liudmila Samsonova won her singles rubber earlier returning with Veronika Kudermetova successful the deciding doubles to assistance Russia bushed the United States successful a thrilling necktie connected Friday and scope the Billie Jean King Cup last for the archetypal clip since 2015.

With American large Billie Jean King watching from the stands, Samsonova and Kudermetova defeated the American brace of Shelby Rogers and CoCo Vandeweghe 6-3 6-3 earlier breaking into joyous celebrations with their squad mates connected court.

Danielle Collins earlier levelled the necktie for 18-times winners United States with a 6-7(9) 7-6(2) 6-2 triumph implicit Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova aft Samsonova had fixed the Russians the pb with a 1-6 6-4 6-3 triumph implicit Sloane Stephens.

Russia, bidding to triumph what was formerly-known arsenic the Fed Cup for the 5th time, are competing successful Prague arsenic the Russian Tennis Federation squad owed to sanctions that forestall them utilizing their country's emblem and anthem were imposed owed to doping scandals.

The 2 teams had contrasting paths to the semi-finals with the Russians cruising done with wins successful some their radical ties portion United States had to excavation heavy against Spain aft an upset decision to Slovakia.

World fig 40 Samsonova is the lowest ranked successful the RTF squad successful Prague but she got the motion for the singles against Stephens fixed her 2-0 head-to-head grounds against the 2017 U.S. Open champion.

Former satellite fig 3 Stephens, who has slipped down the rankings to 63rd currently, got disconnected to a brisk commencement astatine the O2 Arena's Centre Court, breaking the 22-year-old Russian 3 times to instrumentality the opening set.

Making her Billie Jean King Cup singles debut, Samsonova, however, recovered her scope with almighty groundstrokes to rally to victory.

"It's an unbelievable feeling to triumph my archetypal lucifer successful the Billie Jean King Cup," Samsonova said. "I was precise affirmative earlier the match. I knew it's gonna beryllium a very, precise pugnacious lucifer against Sloane."

Pavlyuchenkova went a treble interruption up against the 30th-ranked Collins successful a fierce baseline conflict but could lone instrumentality the opening acceptable successful a closely-contested tiebreaker aft a spectacular fightback from the American.

But Collins continued to surge aft her dilatory commencement and peppered the tribunal with 50 winners to instrumentality down the Russian satellite fig 12 and nonstop the necktie into a deciding doubles rubber.

In the day's 2nd semi-final, Switzerland volition instrumentality connected 2019 runners-up Australia with the last scheduled for Saturday.

Reporting by Sudipto Ganguly successful Mumbai; editing by Toby Davis

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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