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Venus Williams clinches win for U.S. Fed Cup team against Poland

February 7, 2016 04:16 PM

By Sally Milano, USTA.com

Venus Williams defeated Magda Linette, 6-1, 6-2, Sunday in the U.S. vs. Poland World Group II first-round tie at the Holua Tennis Center in Kailua Kona, Hawaii, to clinch the victory for the U.S. Fed Cup team in what would be a 4-0 victory over Poland.

With the win, Team USA advanced to the World Group Playoffs, April 16-17, to compete for a spot in the 2017 World Group and a chance at the 2017 Fed Cup title. The U.S. will face either Australia, Germany, Italy or Russia in the Playoffs.

"The goal was to get a win any which way we could," said U.S. Fed Cup captain Mary Joe Fernandez. "I think it's great we were able to win all matches. We mentioned this at the beginning of the week: Team competition is different. The pressures are different. The expectations are different. Working together means a lot. Everybody on the team had great chemistry. They worked for the common goal. We were able to get the win. So we're very, very excited and happy."

Williams, No. 12 in the WTA rankings, needed just over an hour to defeat 96th-ranked Linette, Poland's No. 1 player in this weekend's tie. The two players were meeting for the first time.

"I think I had a little bit of an advantage today because Sloane had a chance to play against Magda, so I had a nice scouting report," Williams said. "I was able to really get started quickly. I think she did a little of the work beforehand for me. I kind of had the heads-up."

Bethanie Mattek-Sands and CoCo Vandeweghe gave the U.S. added the final win of the weekend with 6-1, 7-5 victory over Klaudia Jans-Ignacik and Paula Kania in the doubles match. The final singles match between Sloane Stephens and Kania was not played, as the tie was already decided.

The U.S. took a 2-0 lead over Poland on Day 1 Saturday. Stephens opened with a 6-2, 6-4 win over Linette, and then Williams defeated Kania, 7-5, 6-2.

The United States now holds a 4-0 record against Poland in Fed Cup play. The U.S. last faced Poland in the 1990 World Group First Round in Atlanta, sweeping the tie, 3-0. The American team, which also faced Poland in 1974 and 1980, has never lost a point to Poland in Fed Cup competition.

The U.S. is now 38-6 in ties played at home and holds a 145-36 Fed Cup record overall.