The USA is out of the Billie Jean King Cup Finals as the Czech Republic beat them in the crucial tie, sending their country to the semi-finals.
It was a mammoth job to begin with because the Czech Republic really needed only one win from singles to give them the best shot to win the tie. They were always strongly favored in doubles, because they had Barbora Krejcikova and Katerina Siniakova playing.
They are not only one of the best doubles pairings in the world, but they play together all the time, which means the chemistry is great. That's a rare thing to have. So Danielle Collins won the first important match; however, Sofia Kenin had no chance against Marketa Vondrousova in the second.
The US team even tried some tricks by changing the nomination late to give Collins and Townsend some leverage; however, it didn't work because they just couldn't do much against one of the best doubles pairings in the world.
Fans saw an early break for the Czech team as they took a 3-1 lead and then added another one for a 5-2 lead. They lost their serve then but broke once more to seal the opening set 6-3.
The Americans struggled greatly on their serve, failing to hold often in the opening set. The second set didn't bring anything different in that regard, but at least they were more active on return.
Collins and Townsend broke the Czechs early twice but also failed to hold serve, so it was 2-2. The Americans would break once more but lost their serve immediately after, so it was 4-4.
The Czech team ultimately won the match by outplaying the American down the stretch. The final score was 6-3 7-5 as they secured the semi-finals for their country. It was a valid effort from the United States, but not enough in the end.