Venus Williams needed eight match points in the final game to beat Johanna Larsson 6-3, 7-5 and give the U.S. an insurmountable 3-1 lead against Sweden in the Fed Cup World Group Playoff.
It marked the first time that the 21st ranked Venus Williams, a former No. 1, has clinched a Fed Cup tie for the United States.
Earlier Sunday, No. 1-ranked Serena Williams boosted the U.S. to a 2-1 lead when she posted a 6-2, 6-1 win over 54th-ranked Sofia Arvidsson.
U.S. captain Mary Joe Fernandez made a last minute substitution by putting in Venus Williams for the 16th-ranked Sloane Stephens in the fourth match. Stephens lost the first match of the weekend to Arvidsson.
''The hardest thing was trying to decide when to play which one,'' Fernandez said. ''At the end of the day, experience just goes a long way. Venus has been there so many times before.
''To have her in that clinching match for me was really important.''
Fernandez also knew that Venus Williams was desperate to play.
''To be ...