For the first time since 2010, the United States is in the Fed Cup semifinals.
With new captain Kathy Rinaldi, the USA (without the Williams sisters) swept Germany (without Angie Kerber) 4-0 in Maui this weekend, though it was not without controversy.
Before the event even began on Saturday, the wrong German anthem (Nazi-era “Deutschland Über Alles”) was sung, insulting the German team. Andrea Petkovic called it “the epitome of ignorance” and said she had never felt more disrespected not just in tennis, but her whole life. The USTA later apologized.
Once play began, Alison Riske scored a mild upset to the U.S. in great position, defeating Petkovic. That was followed by Coco Vandeweghe defeating Julia Görges, who was forced to retire down a set after injuring her MCL and meniscus.
On Sunday, Vandeweghe improbably sealed the win. Down a set and struggling in the heat, Vandeweghe received medical treatment, and as was the case at the Australian Open, broke the momentum of Petkovic, though Petkovic certainly was at fault for melting down, as she did not win another game after being two games from the match.
With the outcome decided, the second singles match of the day was cancelled, and the doubles match ended after five games when Germany retired.
Looking for their first title since 2000, the U.S. will take on the powerhouse Czech Republic dynasty in April, while the other semifinal will pit surprise semifinalist Belarus, still without Victoria Azarenka, against Switzerland.