Venus puts holders USA into Fed Cup semi-finals

US Fed Cup Team Begins Title Defense with the Williams Sisters in North Carolina This Weekend Versus the Netherlands

Cheered on by her younger sister Serena, who is poised to make her own comeback to the sport after a year away and the birth of her daughter, seven-time Grand Slam victor Venus made relatively light work of 124th-ranked Arantxa Rus, winning 6-1, 6-4.

For Kvitova, who got the ball rolling for the Czechs on Saturday with a hard-fought win over Viktorija Golubic, this weekend marked her return to the Fed Cup for the first time since being injured in a knife attack at her home in 2016.

Williams is not set to take part in the Fed Cup singles this weekend, with her sister Venus and CoCo Vandeweghe scheduled to play both rubbers, with Richel Hogenkamp and Arantxa Rus doing likewise for Holland.

With yet another break in hand, Williams served for the tie up 5-1, and had a drama-free hold to give the USA a 3-0 win over the Netherlands to make the Fed Cup semifinals.

"We saw her play an exhibition at the end of last year, but this is a great way for her to start the year and get a couple matches or a match behind her.

I'm really happy but it is definitely the start of a long process", Former world No.1 Serena Williams said in a press conference.

'She's been out, becoming a new mom, and she's looking to get back into playing, Rinaldi said.

Teen Gerard wins slopestyle snowboarding for USA's 1st gold medal
Teammates Mark McMorris and Max Parrot won silver and bronze respectively while American Red Gerard captured the gold medal. Gerard totaled 87.16 points in three runs to take the gold, beating Max Parrot of Canada to the second place in 86.00.

Venus is due to meet Hogenkamp in the first of tomorrow's singles matches and Vanderweghe takes on Rus before the final doubles in which Serena - in her first tournament since giving birth to a daughter by Caesarian section on September 1 past year - is paired with Lauren Davis against Lesley Kerkhove and Demi Schuurs. Kvitova, who hit a total of 10 aces, then got the decisive break for a 4-3 lead in the second set after Bencic sent a forehand long. Vandewegh, who hadn't played since an Australian Open first-round exit, lost seven straight games at one point and fell behind 3-0 in the second set before rallying to beat the 108th-ranked Hogenkamp.

After racing through the opening set, Williams was made to work in the second where the first five games all ended in service breaks.

Following Venus Williams' victory to clinch the Fed Cup tie for the US, Captain Rinaldi delighted the crowd when she announced Williams would play the dead doubles rubber alongside her sister Serena. "It gave me a lot of pressure for me to close it out and a lot of pressure for her to stay in and I just handled it a little better".

"Elsewhere, Kristina Mladenovic and Amandine Hesse beat Kirsten Flipkens and Elise Mertens in the deciding doubles rubber to put hosts France through to the semi-finals for the third time in four years".

In other World Group Fed Cup series, the Czech Republic leads Switzerland 2-0 while Belarus-Germany and France-Belgium are 1-1.

Serena, 36, hasn't played an official match since winning the 2017 Australian Open.

'She enjoys Fed Cup, and Serena and Venus have been extremely supportive, and it happened to be a good fit. "We need one more point - it doesn't matter which one - but we need to be ready because I expect them to fight back very hard".

Related news:

Hot News

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Tech basketball projected as a third seed
Feb 12, 2018 - 00:43
The reveal provides insight into the selection committee's thinking exactly a month before Selection Sunday, on March 11. The Wahoos - 23-2 on the season, including a 12-1 record in the ACC - were the No. 1 overall seed in the bracket.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Three people killed in helicopter crash near Grand Canyon
Feb 12, 2018 - 00:39
Bradley said rescue efforts were still ongoing late Saturday and three of the four injured have yet to be flown out. Hualapai Nation Police Chief Francis Bradley said the survivors were airlifted to a Las Vegas hospital as of 2 a.m.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Laidlaw leads Scotland fightback to keep title hopes alive
Feb 12, 2018 - 00:38
He struggled for quick ball but grew into the game and was faultless with the boot, kicking 22 points, to lead the fightback. Sportsmail's GLEN WILLIAMS will be bringing you all the live action with updates from RORY KEANE at Murrayfield .

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Top ANC Officials Cancel Events as Zuma Exit Talks Intensify
Feb 12, 2018 - 00:35
He still retains the support of a faction within the ANC but has seen several prominent party allies desert him recently. This would require Zuma to give evidence in parliament before the Guptas or his son Duduzane - who could implicate him.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Christian Aid reveals sexual misconduct investigations following Oxfam accusations
Feb 12, 2018 - 00:34
Caroline Thomson, chair of Oxfam's trustees, announced a package of measures to show the organisation was committed to changing. The government is looking to collect documents on the staff members who paid for sex during that time.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top OxyContin maker stops promoting opioids, cuts sales staff
Feb 12, 2018 - 00:31
Doctors with questions about opioids will be directed to the company's medical affairs department. Costs of opioid addiction to the USA economy have been estimated to be as high as $78.5 billion.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top EPL: Liverpool spank Saints, climb up to third
Feb 12, 2018 - 00:30
Southampton by contrast are sinking into a desperate situation as they barely put up a fight on Sunday. Van Dijk left with his first clean sheet since joining Liverpool .

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top After Passing Budget Deal, Congress Turns To Immigration Without A Clear Plan
Feb 12, 2018 - 00:30
His public statements have embraced a wide range of policy options . "I don't think the unity will be there", Gutierrez said. The federal government briefly shuttered for the second time in less than a month overnight, after Kentucky Republican Sen.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Egypt escalates army operations in Sinai
Feb 12, 2018 - 00:29
Egypt is quietly carrying out the operation with cooperation from Israel. The army also said that 30 suspected terrorists were arrested.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Victoria Beckham denies Spice Girls will reunite for tour
Feb 12, 2018 - 00:29
The pair were without famous parents David and Victoria , who are in NY for the launch of the Spice Girl's fall/winter collection. Beckham wants you to know though that it's definitely not a tour and sparking a rumour every year is not going to change that.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Arsene Wenger snaps back at Martin Keown's jibes after Tottenham defeat
Feb 12, 2018 - 00:24
At Wembley you play special games where you are under pressure to perform and we responded well to it every time ". We are so proud that he is in our side", Spurs boss Mauricio Pochettino noted.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top VAR causes mass confusion AGAIN as Fiorentina denied penalty against Juventus
Feb 12, 2018 - 00:23
The 23-year-old scored the Turin giants' first goal as he curled in a left-footed free-kick in the 56th minute on Friday. And with five minutes of normal time remaining, Juventus again responded to the danger in devastating fashion.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Pressure on Oxfam over sex allegations
Feb 11, 2018 - 01:58
This information will be considered as part of an ongoing case regarding the charity's approach to safeguarding. The incident was reported to the appropriate bodies, including the Charities [sic] Commission.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Gerrymandering Opponents Win Cases, But Republican Advantage Likely in 2018
Feb 11, 2018 - 01:56
Most recently, some conservatives in Pennsylvania have made a decision to wage war on most of the state's Supreme Court justices. And now the state Supreme Court says it "clearly, plainly and palpably violates the constitution of the Commonwealth".

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Vonn, Queen of Ski, returns to Olympic Slopes
Feb 11, 2018 - 01:56
Sofia Goggia is going into her first Winter Olympics with the aim of stealing the show from American superstar Lindsey Vonn . It looks like Vonn will win yet another gold, which may have looked impossible just five years ago after the brutal injury.