A 17-year championship drought came to an end for the United States when it beat Belarus, 3-2, to take its 18th Fed Cup title in Minsk. CoCo Vandeweghe and Shelby Rogers defeated Aryna Sabalenka and Aliaksandra Sasnovich, 6-3, 7-6 (7-3), in the deciding doubles of the 2017 final. The Belarus pair led 5-2 in the second set and served to level at one-set apiece in the eighth, 10th, and 12th games. The Americans dominated the tiebreaker, winning five of the last six points. Sasnovich had kept Belarus alive after beating US Open champion Sloane Stephens, 4-6, 6-1, 8-6, to leave the final level at 2-2 on the indoor hard-court Chizhovka Arena. Vandeweghe earlier beat Sabalenka, 7-6 (7-5), 6-1 to give the US team a 2-1 lead . . . One break of serve, and a mini-break, was all Roger Federer needed to win his opening match at the season-ending ATP Finals in London. The 19-time Grand Slam champion broke Jack Sock in the first game of the 6-4, 7-6 (7-4) victory at O2 Arena. Both then held serve the rest of the way. The 36-year-old Federer, who is ranked No. 2 in the world and won the Australian Open and Wimbledon this season, is the oldest player ever to qualify for the season-ending tournament, which started in 1970.
Kizzire outlasts Fowler for first win
Patton Kizzire won his first PGA Tour title by beating Rickie Fowler in a 36-hole marathon in the rain-plagued OHL Classic in Playa del Carmen, Mexico. Kizzire, 31, closed with rounds of 66-67 for a one-shot victory over Fowler, who fell four shots behind until staging a rally that again fell short. Fowler had rounds of 67-67 on the final day. Kizzire won in his 62nd career start on the PGA Tour. Leading by four shots with seven holes to play, Kizzire saved par with an 8-foot putt on No. 12, a 10-foot putt on the par-5 13th and an 8-foot putt on the 14th. Kizzire finished at 19-under 265 and earned his first trip to the Masters in April. Si Woo Kim tried to get into the mix until a double bogey in the middle of his back nine. He still closed with a 65 to finish third, his best finish since he won The Players Championship in May . . . South Africa’s Branden Grace shot a 6-under 66, including a 30-foot birdie putt on No. 16, to win the Nedbank Challenge by one shot, becoming the first home winner at Sun City in a decade.
Jazz lose Gobert for a month
Utah center Rudy Gobert will be out for the next month after an MRI that revealed a bruised lower right leg. Gobert was injured Friday when Heat guard Dion Waiters crashed into him, causing Gobert’s knee to buckle. . . . Croatia qualified for the 2018 World Cup finals after a 0-0 draw in the second leg of the playoffs against Greece in Athens. With a considerable advantage from Thursday’s 4-1 victory in Zagreb, Croatia easily held off the Greeks as they pressed for an upset. Switzerland is also going to the World Cup after a scoreless draw in rain-soaked Basel, which was preserved by left-back Ricardo Rodriguez’s goal-line clearance in stoppage time from Jonny Evans’s header . . . Dominik Kahun assisted on goals by Frank Mauer, Brent Raedeke, and Brooks Macek as host Germany beat the United States, 5-1, in the Deutschland Cup finale, an Olympic tune-up event in Augsburg, Germany. The US team outshot Germany, 28-19, but got just one goal by Broc Little and fell to 0-3-0 in the tournament. Although the US outshot opponents 95-60 in three games, it scored just four goals and allowed 12 . . . Hannah Brandt scored twice in the second period as the US women beat Canada, 5-1, to win their third straight Four Nations Cup championship in Tampa. Maddie Rooney made 18 saves and improved to 3-0 in the Americans’ four games at this tournament. Hilary Knight and Amanda Kessel each added a goal and an assist. Kendall Coyne had a goal, and Dani Cameranesi added four assists.