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U.S. edges Ukraine to reach Billie Jean Cup finals

Sportsnaut
Apr 16, 2022; Asheville, NC, USA;  Asia Muhammad (USA) celebrates after winning the doubles with Jessica Pegula (USA) in the Billie Jean King Cup tie between USA and Ukraine at Harrah's Cherokee Center. Mandatory Credit: Susan Mullane-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: Susan Mullane-USA TODAY Sports

Jessica Pegula and Asia Muhammad teamed up for a 7-6 (5), 6-3 doubles victory over Dayana Yastremska and Lyudmyla Kichenok on Saturday to give the United States a 3-2 victory over Ukraine in a Billie Jean Cup qualifier in Asheville, N.C.

The victory boosted the Americans into the finals, which will be held in November at a still-to-be-determined site.

The U.S. led 2-0 entering the day before Ukraine rallied with two singles wins. Yastremska knocked off Pegula 6-3, 6-4 and Katarina Zavatska evened the match with a 6-3, 6-4 victory over Shelby Rogers.

But Pegula and Muhammad were able to win a tiebreaker in the first set of doubles play before posting a 5-0 edge in aces in the second set while clinching the victory.

Canada also moved on after beating Latvia 4-0 in Vancouver. Leylah Fernandez won her singles match for the second straight day, beating Daniela Vismane 6-2, 6-1.

Also advancing to the finals on Saturday were Italy (3-1 over France), Czech Republic (3-2 over Great Britain), Kazakhstan (3-1 over Germany), Spain (4-0 over Netherlands) and Poland (4-0 over Romania).

Switzerland, which lost in the 2021 finals, automatically qualified for the championship round. Defending champion Russia and Belarus are banned from the competition after the invasion of Ukraine.

Australia has replaced Russia in the finals while Slovakia and Belgium received byes into the finals. Japan also is in the finals.

–Field Level Media