France vs USA Fed Cup semi-finals live stream, preview, results and schedule: Sloane Stephens and Madison Keys send champions US into back-to-back Fed Cup finals

Andrew Hendrie in Fed Cup 23 Apr 2018
  • France host USA in the Fed Cup semi-finals live from Aix-en-Provence between April 21-22
  • Sloane Stephens and Madison Keys won their reverse singles rubbers on Sunday to send champions US into back-to-back Fed Cup finals.
  • Watch and bet on Fed Cup tennis live from Aix-en-Provence at bet365 > live streaming > tennis (geo restrictions apply; funded account required or to have placed a bet in the last 24 hours to qualify)
Sloane Stephens leads USA into battle this weekend (Photo via USTA Twitter)

Sloane Stephens and Madison Keys won their reverse singles rubbers on Sunday to send champions US into back-to-back Fed Cup finals.

Watch and bet on USA vs France live Fed Cup tennis online at bet365 > live streaming > tennis (geo restrictions apply; funded account required or to have placed a bet in the last 24 hours to qualify)

Even with the legendary Serena and Venus Williams missing USA’s semi-final Fed Cup showdown against France in Aix-en-Provence this weekend, the defending champions will still start favourites to beat the host nation and advance into a second consecutive final.

Sloane Stephens and Madison Keys lead the United States into battle at the Arena Du Pays D’Aix in Aix-en-Provence, while CoCo Vandeweghe and Bethanie Mattek-Sands make up the rest of a song American line-up as the foursome attempt to fire their country into back-to-back Fed Cup finals for the first time since 2009-10.

France meanwhile are fielding an understrength three-player team as the experienced Alize Cornet is prohibited from playing ITF events until her name is cleared in a doping investigation that has been postponed to the start of May. Kristina Mladenovic, the current World No. 20 in singles and No. 14 in doubles, will carry the weight of a nation on her shoulders as a result, supported by World No. 122 Pauline Parmentier and World No. 204 Amandine Hesse.

Can USA keep their title defence alive and advance into another Fed Cup final, or can France spring a big shock on home soil?


France vs USA Match Schedule



Rubber #1: Sloane Stephens (USA) def. Pauline Parmentier (FRA) 7-6(3) 7-5
Rubber #2: Kristina Mladenovic (FRA) def. CoCo Vandeweghe 1-6 6-3 6-2
Rubber #3: Sloane Stephens (USA) def. Kristina Mladenovic (FRA) 6-2 6-0
Rubber #4: Madison Keys (USA) def. Pauline Parmentier (FRA) 7-6 6-4

USA win 3-1.

Latest France vs USA Fed Cup Results


Rubber #1: Sloane Stephens (USA) def. Pauline Parmentier (FRA) 7-6(3) 7-5

U.S. Open champion Sloane Stephens overcame World No. 122 Pauline Parmentier in a thrilling opening singles rubber in the Arena du Pays d’Aix on Saturday, coming away with a narrow straight sets triumph to hand the defending champions a 1-0 lead in their semi-final showdown.

Stephens was forced to work extremely hard against the unheralded Parmentier, coming back from a break down in both sets and saving five set points in the opener to claim her first Fed Cup victory in two years.

“That was a battle,” acknowledged Stephens afterwards. “She played really well. Obviously being down is never fun. I played much better in the tie-breaker and got a lot of confidence from that. I was fighting to stay in the match and play some good tennis. My first Fed Cup win in two years feels awesome.”

Rubber #2: Kristina Mladenovic (FRA) def. CoCo Vandeweghe 1-6 6-3 6-2

Needing a win to avoid France falling 0-2 behind heading into Day 2, Kristina Mladenovic produced a marvellous comeback to break the 13-rubber Fed Cup winning streak of CoCo Vandeweghe in the second singles rubber on Saturday.

Vandeweghe roared out of the blocks and was seemingly on set to give the away nation a commanding 2-0 lead, but Mladenovic - who has registered some memorable Fed Cup triumphs in recent years - staged an outstanding fightback, winning the last two sets and giving an understrength France a genuine chance of pulling off the upset on Sunday.

“That was a crazy match to be part of,” she said. “It was hard stepping on court being one down and then I had big trouble with the way Coco started the match. I told myself that if she played this way for two entire sets, then hats off and well done. But I’m a fighter and I also have some tennis skills, so I found my way. It was a great way to finish the day. The crowd is pumped and so are we.”

Rubber #3: Sloane Stephens (USA) def. Kristina Mladenovic (FRA) 6-2 6-0

With the tie poised at 1-1, the two No. 1's, Sloane Stephens and Kristina Mladenovic clashed in the first of Sunday's reverse singles, looking to wrestle the initiative in this Fed Cup tie. Stephens would have been gutted at not contributing any points to the American's cause in last year's final- the US Open champion lost both of her rubbers- but she stepped up big time here with two vital victories. Having battled past Pauline Parmentier on Saturday, Stephens turned it on against a below-par Mladenovic on Sunday, showcasing every facet of her all-round game in an emphatic performance. The US Open champion needed only 55 minutes to dismiss the home favourite and restore America's advantage.

Rubber #4: Madison Keys(USA) def. Pauline Parmentier (FRA) 7-6 6-4

Drafted in as a replacement for the out-of-sorts CoCo Vandeweghe, Madison Keys had the chance to wrap up this tie for the US when she took on Pauline Parmentier, but things didn't particularly begin well for last year's US Open finalist. Keys was quickly down 4-1, Parmentier with a double break, and seemingly cruising through the first set. However, the American launched a fight back, earning both breaks back before taking the set on a tie break after 52 minutes.

Both ladies exchanged breaks again midway through the second set, but Keys had the final say, winning two games in a row from 4-4 to seal the win, and confirm USA's spot in next year's final in Prague.

France vs USA Squads


France: Kristina Mladenovic, Pauline Parmentier, Amandine Hesse, Yannick Noah (captain)

USA: Sloane Stephens, Madison Keys, CoCo Vandeweghe, Bethanie Mattek-Sands, Kathy Rinaldi-Stunkel (captain)

USA may be without Serena and Venus Williams, but their team is still equipped with formidable firepower, with top 10 star Sloane Stephens and Madison Keys - who faced off in the 2017 U.S. Open final - and two-time Grand Slam semi-finalist CoCo Vandeweghe leading the way, along with doubles specialist Bethanie Mattek-Sands.

Stephens and Keys actually don’t have that much Fed Cup experience - Stephens has an underwhelming 2-4 record and lost both her singles matches in last year’s final against Belarus, while Keys hasn’t played Fed Cup since 2016, with the current World No. 13 holding a 2-2 record in singles. Indeed, it’s been Vandeweghe who has been the main woman in the USA team over the last couple of years - she’s currently on an 11-match winning steak in both singles and doubles combined dating back to 2015, while she was also the hero in last year’s final in Minsk, winning all three of her matches, including the decisive doubles.

With Alize Cornet banned from playing ITF events as she awaits an upcoming hearing for a doping investigation and Caroline Garcia not playing Fed Cup at the moment, Kristina Mladenovic will need to be operating at the very peak of her powers if France are to hold any chance reaching just a second Fed Cup final since 2005. Mladenovic, who is ranked No. 20 in singles and No. 14 in doubles, has a 8-6 Fed Cup record in singles and 10-2 record in doubles, while she won all three of her matches against Belgium in February’s quarter-finals, taking out Elise Mertens and Kirsten Flipkens in straight sets before also beating the pair in doubles with Amandine Hesse.

Speaking of Hesse, captain Yannick Noah will have to decide between her and veteran Pauline Parmentier for the second singles spot in the French side. Hesse has never played a Fed Cup singles rubber before, while Parmentier is 5-10 in singles - not exactly the most eye-catching records going around.

Fed Cup Format


Fed Cup ties are played over the best of five rubbers over two days. Two singles rubbers are played on Saturday, followed by the reverse singles rubbers on Sunday with the tie going to a deciding doubles rubber if necessary.

Player nominations can be changed up until an hour before the start of play.

One nation hosts the tie, with the choice of ground decided by where the two competing teams played last time. USA welcomed France in their last meeting, so this time the French will host USA in Aix-en-Provence this weekend.

France vs USA History


USA lead H2H 11-2

The United States hold a commanding record over France in the Fed Cup Arena, winning 11 of their 13 previous ties dating all the way back to 1966.

France have however won two of their last three encounters, including their last clash in the 2014 World Group Play-offs in St. Louis when Caroline Garcia won all three of her matches, including beating Sloane Stephens and Madison Keys in singles and the pair in doubles with Virginie Razzano.

USA won the first 10 meetings between the nations between 1966 and 1995, but France emerged triumphant in two of their three clashes since the turn of the century - including their biggest ever showdown in the 2003 final in Moscow, where France prevailed 4-1 courtesy of singles victories to Amelie Mauresmo and Mary Pierce.

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France vs USA Fed Cup semi-finals live stream, preview, results and schedule: Sloane Stephens and Madison Keys send champions US into back-to-back Fed Cup finals

Sloane Stephens and Madison Keys won their reverse singles rubbers on Sunday to send champions US into back-to-back Fed Cup finals.

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