Tennis

Belarus stun Switzerland to reach first Fed Cup final

The visitors were heavy favourites against the host nation, without Victoria Azarenka and with only one top-100 player to call on, in the semi-finals.

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Belarus stun Switzerland to reach first Fed Cup final
TATYANA ZENKOVICH EFE

Belarus caused a huge upset to reach the final of the Fed Cup final on Sunday at the expense of Switzerland, who were the favourites to progress to their first final since 1998.

18-year-old Aryna Sabalenka completed the rout with a three-set victory over Viktorija Golubic in the fourth rubber of World Group semi-final.

Sabalenka, who is ranked 125th in the world, won 6-3, 2-6, 6-4 in her first ever meeting with Golubic, the world number 54, in just over two hours to give Belarus an unassailable 3-1 advantage in Minsk.

Sabalenka: "I gave everything for this win"

"I gave everything I had for this win," Sabalenka said. "This is the first major victory in my career. Hopefully it will not be the last one."

The Belarus teenager looked in command at the start as she produced an early break and kept her narrow lead for a one-set advantage after 39 minutes against the 24-year-old Golubic.

Golubic stepped up a gear in the second set, breaking her rival's serve on three occasions to level at one-set all after one hour 14 minutes on court.

In the deciding set the opponents traded breaks early before Sabalenka grabbed the deciding break in the ninth game.

Sasnovich victory over Bacsinszky

Aliaksandra Sasnovich reacts after her victory against Timea Bacsinszky.

Earlier on Sunday world number 96 Aliaksandra Sasnovich put Belarus into a 2-1 lead as she scored the surprise of the tie in defeating Timea Bacsinszky, ranked 74 places higher, in straight sets 6-2, 7-6 in one hour 35 minutes at the hard courts of Minsk Chizhovka arena.

"I was well prepared for this match both mentally and physically," Sasnovich said. "I played well today and I'm very glad to win the second point for my team. Belarus tennis now have a historic chance."

In the Fed Cup final Belarus will face either Czech Republic or the United States, who are tied at 1-1 after the first day.