Fed Cup World Group Semifinals
FRANCE d. NETHERLANDS 3-2
The Dutch couldn’t hold a lead as Kiki Bertens twice put them out ahead, but got no support as France clinches in the deciding doubles. Bertens beat France’s Caroline Garcia and Kristina Mladenovic, but the Netherlands couldn’t get singles wins out of either Richel Hogenkamp or Arantxa Rus.
In the deciding doubles Garcia/Mladenovic bore down to defeat Bertens/Hogenkamp 4-6, 6-3, 6-3.
“It’s difficult to get so close to your goal and then lose, it’s hard to take,” said Dutch captain Paul Haarhuis.
CZECH REPUBLIC d. SWITZERLAND 3-2
Even without Petra Kvitova, the Czechs move into the final behind the balanced attack of Karolina Pliskova and Barbora Strycova. Both players go 1-1 in singles, and in the deciding doubles Pliskova and Lucie Hradecka handled world No. 1 Martina Hingis and rookie Viktorija Golubic 6-2, 6-2.
“I am happy with how we played,” Hradecka said of the doubles. “Maybe I expected a closer match but I know if we play fast and we don’t give them a lot of time, it would be an advantage for us. It was great and I really enjoyed it.”
The Swiss were without an injured Belinda Bencic. While doubles was not the 23-year-old Swiss Golubic’s forte, the No. 129-ranked player kept her team in the tie with two surprising singles wins over Pliskova and Strycova. The Czechs will travel to France for the final on Nov. 12-13.
Falconi Beat Soler-Espinosa for WTA Bogota Title
No. 5-seeded American Irina Falconi won her career-first WTA title on Sunday, beating Spain’s No. 170-ranked Silvia Soler-Espinosa to win the Claro Open Colsanitas in Bogota, Colombia, becoming the first American to raise the trophy in tournament history.
Falconi needed to come down from a break and 0-30 down in the third set against the Spaniard, whose biggest win during the week was toppling No. 8 seed Anna Tatishvili of the U.S.
Falconi advanced into the final after a three-set upset in the semis over No. 4 seed Lara Arruabarrena.
The American is 1-0 after her first career final, and is projected to rise close to her career-high rank of No. 64.
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