Dominant Stephens edges US towards Fed Cup final

Sloane Stephens made short work of Kristina Mladenovic to put the US on the brink of qualifying for the Fed Cup final

Aix-en-Provence (France) (AFP) – Sloane Stephens gave defending champions the United States a 2-1 lead over France in their Fed Cup semi-final after brushing aside Kristina Mladenovic 6-2, 6-0 in Aix-en-Provence on Sunday.

The lopsided win means France’s world number 122 Pauline Parmentier must upset the odds and beat 13th-ranked Madison Keys to deny the US a place in November’s final against the Czech Republic, who earlier knocked out Germany.

It was world number 20 Mladenovic who had given France a fighting chance when ending Coco Vandeweghe’s 13-match Fed Cup win streak to pull France level at 1-1 on Saturday.

But she was unable to repeat those heroics against the US Open champion who had given the Americans their first point when defeating Parmentier 7-6 (7/3), 7-5 in Saturday’s opening rubber.