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Kastles Play for Country

February 26, 2018 - World TeamTennis (WTT) - Washington Kastles News Release

In Fed Cup and Davis Cup competition, the Kastles were also in action earlier this month.

In Asheville, North Carolina, Venus Williams was in stunning form. The seven-time Grand Slam singles champ clinched the third and decisive rubber for Team USA in their first round Fed Cup tie against the Netherlands at US Cellular Arena. Williams defeated Richel Hogenkamp in straight sets, 7-5, 6-1, to seal a spot in the semis for the U.S. squad.

Williams had an easier time dispatching of Hogenkamp than her teammate Coco Vandeweghe the day before. Hogenkamp pushed Vandeweghe to three sets in the second rubber of the competition.

"Honestly, I like to think that CoCo wore her down some," said Venus after the victory. "It gave me an opportunity to be able to close this out for the USA. It was a lot of pressure for me to close it out and a lot of pressure for her to stay in and I handled it a little bit better."

Venus led off for the U.S. squad with a solid win over the 124th-ranked Arantxa Rus, 6-1, 6-4, to claim the first point of the tie. Against Hogenkamp, Williams got off to a quick 3-0 lead in the first set, but the Dutchwoman rallied to hold serve thereafter, and when she broke Venus's serve at love in the fifth game, the dynamic of the rubber became more competitive. The games were tight, until Williams took the lead at 6-5. From that point on, the American steamrolled.

She broke Hogenkamp's serve at love to secure the first set in 42 minutes, according to

In the second set, Williams raced to a 5-1 lead with little resistance from the Dutchwoman and punctuated the victory with an explosive forehand winner to close out the match and secure the tie.

Next up, the U.S. will play France away in April for a spot in the final. France edged Belgium, 3-2, to earn their spot in the semifinals.

In men's competition, Sam Querrey won the lead off rubber for Team USA in their first round tie against Serbia in the 2018 Davis Cup. The Kastles star defeated Laslo Djere, 6-7(4), 6-2, 7-5, 6-4, to give the Americans an early boost. After his WTT family compatriots John Isner (New York Empire) won his singles rubber and Ryan Harrison (San Diego Aviators) and Steve Johnson (Orange County Breakers) won the doubles rubber, the U.S. secured a spot in the quarterfinals of the annual tennis world cup.

Next up, the squad will face #2 seed Belgium for a spot in the semis. The Americans will have the advantage of playing on home soil and selecting the surface. (You can bet it will be quick.) The tie will take place April 6-8.

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