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By Chris Oddo | Sunday February 11, 2018

Venus and Serena

Venus Williams won two singles rubbers and clinched victory for the Americans on Sunday in Asheville.

Photo Source: EPA

The Americans are going to France.

And they have Venus Williams to thank. The 37-year-old won both of her singles rubbers, including a straight sets win over Richel Hogenkamp on Sunday, to advance Team U.S.A. to their second straight Fed Cup semifinal.

Williams improved to 21-2 in Fed Cup singles rubbers; she has not lost once since 2005.

It was a family affair over the weekend for the Americans, but not in the typical sense. Serena Williams was in uniform but was not penciled in for singles duty. Instead she stood by and supported her sister as well as CoCo Vandeweghe, as the defending champions marched past the Netherlands in the countries first meeting since 1998.

A rusty Serena, out of action since last year’s Australian Open, made more news for her impromptu Instagram post featuring her daughter Olympia in the crowd, but she did take the court for a dead doubles rubber that saw the Williams sister defeated in straight sets by Lesley Kerkhove and Demi Schuurs, 6-2, 6-3.

“It felt really good to be back on the court,” Williams said. “I've been training. It's just exciting to be out there. A lot of not nerves, but anticipation for myself. That's good. I think that's normal.”

The Americans will travel to France to contest the semifinals on April 21st and 22nd.

For now, they’ll be relishing a victory on home soil that saw the Williams sisters compete in the same tie for the first time in three years.

“Well, right now we're just celebrating today,” American captain Kathy Rinaldi said. “I haven't really thought about it. I just know that they won. Yeah, we'll be traveling over there. We're looking forward to it.”


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