U.S. set up Czech Fed Cup final

Fed Cup: No Serena and Venus Williams, no problem as USA aim to cement place in second consecutive final

The Czechs are into their sixth Fed Cup final in the last eight years, winning in 2011-12 and 2014-16.

US Open champion Stephens had put the US on the verge of the final after brushing aside Kristina Mladenovic 6-2, 6-0 in yesterday's first rubber.

The United States advanced to its second consecutive Fed Cup Final by defeating France on Sunday, 3-2, in Aix-en-Provence.

The US match victor Keys, who battled back after trailing Parmentier 4-1 in the first set, said: "It feels unbelievable, but not for me - but to do that for this team and help us back to the final". The Czechs now look well set to continue their impressive recent Fed Cup form having won the title five times in the last seven years. "From the beginning of the match I knew I had all the weapons".

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"I knew she was going to play well so I was prepared for that", said Keys. Obviously Sloane playing some great matches and getting that final win is really, really special. Julia Goerges earned a hard fought 6-4, 6-2 win over Karolina Pliskova to keep German hopes alive.

Sloane Stephens, who lost both of her singles rubbers in the 2017 Final, having missed the rest of the 2017 Fed Cup season due to a right foot injury, brought two crucial points to US in Aix-en-Provence.

Parmentier battled to save two set points and force a tie-break with an imposing forehand but she could not save a third as a whipping cross-court victor from Keys sealed the first set.

Now both teams will look forward to the November final when the US squad could potentially pull a Williams sister or two into their line-up. Thanks to Keys' stubborn performance, US is bidding to win 7 consecutive Fed Cup ties for the first time since 1989-91, when the team sealed 14 straight wins.

Vandeweghe will partner up with Bethanie Mattek-Sands in the deciding doubles rubber if needed. EPA-EFE/GUILLAUME HORCAJUELOFrench supporters cheer for their team during the Fed Cup World Group semi final tie between France and the United States in Aix-en-Provence, southern France, 21 April 2018. The U.S. Fed Cup Team won its record 18th Fed Cup title in November against Belarus, 3-2, in Minsk.

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