2018 Season | Week 6 Round-up

The Czechs and Americans march on in the Fed Cup

Kristina Mladenovic volleying at the Citi Open in 2017
After a long losing streak, Kiki Mladenovic has won five of her last six matches | Keith Allison

By Stephen Higgins | 12 February 2018

There were no WTA events last week as attention turned to the international scene. The Fed Cup's World Group saw a number of star names line out.

USA 3-1 The Netherlands

Venus Williams was the heroine of the tie for the defending champions, recording singles wins over Arantxa Rus and Richel Hogenkamp. Coco Vandeweghe put the contest out of reach when she got the better of Hogenkamp 4-6 7-6 6-3. In the dead doubles rubber, the Williams Sisters lost 2-6 3-6 to Lesley Kerhove and Demi Schuurs.

Czech Republic 3-1 Switzerland

The Czechs were convincing winners at home with singles victories for Petra Kvitova (2) and Barbora Strycova. Timea Bacsinszky & Jil Teichmann got Switzerland’s sole point in the doubles rubber with a 1-6 6-4 10-8 win over Lucie Safarova & Barbora Strycova.

France 3-2 Belgium

The revived Kristina Mladenovic inspired her nation to success with three points in Mouilleron le Captif. The 24-year-old delivered singles wins over Kirsten Flipkens and Elise Mertens and partnered Amandine Hesse to success in the doubles. Australian Open semi-finalist Mertens initially put the visitors on the board with a 6-2 6-1 win over Pauline Parmentier. Alison Van Uytvanck then kept the tie alive with a 6-1 6-3 victory over Parmentier before the home side clinched the final rubber.

Germany 3-2 Belarus

21-year-old debutant Antonia Lottner and Tatjana Maria provided the singles points in Minsk before Maria partnered Anna-Lena Groenefeld to a 6-7 7-5 6-4 doubles victory in the final rubber. World no.63 Aryna Sabalenka gained the points for the hosts with consecutive three-set victories over Maria and Lottner.

Now onto the ATP Tour where there were two first-time title winners from the three ATP 250 tournaments played.

Lucas Pouille earned his fifth career ATP title with a 7-6 6-4 win over compatriot Richard Gasquet in Montpellier. The 23-year-old’s victory at the ARENA moves him to 16th in the ATP Rankings.

In Sofia, Mirza Basic (no.129) claimed his first ATP trophy thanks to a 7-6 6-7 6-4 victory over Marius Copil. The man from Bosnia and Herzegovina makes his first foray into the world’s top 100 as a result.

Finally, there was a huge shock in Quito as qualifier Roberto Carballes Baena defeated Albert Ramos-Vinolas in a battle of the double-barrelled Spaniards. The 24-year-old, who is ranked 107 in the world, upset Ramos-Vinolas 6-3 4-6 6-4 to take the Chilean clay event.