Vandeweghe, Stephens open play Vs Belarus in Fed Cup final

Vandeweghe thrives on team aspect of Fed Cup

Fed Cup final between Belarus and United States is more balanced than ever.

Stephens bounced back in the second set using the strategy that served her well at Flushing Meadows - getting balls back into court and counting on Sabalenka making unforced errors.

Coco Vandeweghe will assume a leading role on a United States team seeking their first Fed Cup championship since winning a record 17th in 2000.

"(It's) a good experience for me because I've never felt these emotions, playing at home and the score is 0-1", Sabalenka said.

A wild third set saw six straight breaks of serve before Sabalenka held in the seventh game.

Yet at the tail-end of a year in which she reached the semi-finals of the Australian and US Opens as well as enjoying a run to the quarter-finals at the All England Club, Vandeweghe credits her coach, former Wimbledon men's champion Pat Cash, with keeping her hungry.

"The players really care for each other, so we are very excited and ready to go".

American team captain Kathy Rinaldi said she believed in her team's prospects in the final.

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"We just come onto the court and play".

"I don't know much about the Belarus team", said Vandeweghe, with headline act Azarenka out for the home side amid a custody dispute.

The reverse singles will be played on Sunday with a potentially-decisive doubles rubber to follow.

She broke again in the first game of the second set, and although Sasnovich levelled things up immediately, Vandeweghe struck back before holding to love to take control. "I'm very used to a team atmosphere first", the 25-year-old American said on a conference call from Minsk, where the November 11-12 Fed Cup decider will be held.

"I feel like I'm coming in with wool over my eyes a little bit", Vandeweghe said.

"I don't want to use the word "ooze" confidence, but I can't think of a better word".

Kathy Rinaldi, in her first season as the US captain, is trying to become the first since Billie Jean King to lead a winning Fed Cup squad. Since then, they have played in three finals - 2003, 2009, 2010 - but lost all of them.

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