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Venus helps team

Reuters
Tuesday, February 13, 2018

VENUS Williams put the United States into the Fed Cup World Group semi-finals with a straight sets victory over Richel Hogenkamp of the Netherlands that gave the reigning champions an insurmountable 3-0 lead in their first-round tie yesterday.

Williams's 7-5 6-1 victory on the indoor hard court in Asheville, North Carolina, means the United States will travel to France, who beat Belgium earlier on Sunday, for the April 21-22 semi-finals.

Williams had to fight off a determined Hogenkamp in the first set but dominated throughout the second when her 108th-ranked opponent, who spent nearly three hours on the court in Saturday's loss to CoCo Vandeweghe, showed little resistance.

"Honestly, I like to think that CoCo wore her (Hogenkamp) down some yesterday," said Williams, who then took to the court with younger sister Serena for a doubles dead rubber.

"It gave me an opportunity to be able to close it out for the USA. 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."








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