US down France, face Czech Republic in Fed Cup final

Madison Keys got the decisive point to send champions the US into the Fed Cup final

Aix-en-Provence (France) (AFP) – Madison Keys saw off Pauline Parmentier in two sets to fire the United States into the Fed Cup final with a 3-1 semi-final win over France on Sunday.

Keys, 13th in the world, defeated the 122nd-ranked Parmentier 7-6 (7/4), 6-4 to earn the defending champions a November clash with the Czech Republic, who eased past Germany 4-1 in the other semi-final in Stuttgart.

Sloane Stephens had put the US on the verge of the final after brushing aside Kristina Mladenovic 6-2, 6-0 in Sunday’s first rubber in Aix-en-Provence.

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.