In her first Fed Cup appearance on foreign soil in over a decade, Serena Williams defeated Lesia Tsurenko 6-3, 6-2 on Sunday, catapulting the U.S. back into the Fed Cup World Group with Williams’ series victory over Ukraine.
Later in Fed Cup in Kharkiv, Ukraine, American Christina McHale won 7-5, 6-3 against seventeen-year-old Elina Svitolina.
In doubles, Americans Sloane Stephens and Liezel Huber finished a 5-0 rout with a 6-4, 6-1 win over Ukrainian twins Nadiya and Lyudmyla Kichenok.
After hitting two consecutive aces, preventing a break in the 6th game, Williams roared at herself, “What’s your problem?” after becoming frustrated with Tsurenko’s accuracy early on. As the match progressed, Williams became significantly more relaxed as she broke twice in the beginning of the second set. In response to her performance, she was quoted by the Washington Post having said:
“I had a little bit of a slow start, but I just knew that I could keep fighting. I just want to go out there and be super relaxed. I play better when I’m relaxed.”
Williams’ appearance comes as the 13-time Grand Slam champion intends on becoming eligible for the U.S. team at the London Olympics. After her game, Serena was quoted having said:
“We’re back in the World Group where we want to be and it feels really good to get two points.”
McHale’s match up against Ukrainian Svitolina in what was a tighter game than that of Williams and Tsurenko. The nineteen-year-old American broke once in order to walk away with a close first set, however, she blew right through the second with what appeared to be little trouble.
What do you think of Lesia’s loss to Serena Williams?