Australia have been relegated to the second tier of the Fed Cup following a 4-0 defeat to the US in their qualifying tie at Brisbane’s Pat Rafter Arena on Monday.
Sam Stosur was beaten in three sets 2-6 7-5 6-4 by little known American Coco Vandeweghe in the match up’s third tie to consign the Aussies to World Group II in next year’s competition.
Daria Gavrilova and Arina Rodionova then combined for the dead-rubber doubles clash but they were beaten in straight sets to complete the rout on the specially laid clay court.
While clearly disappointed following her fourth straight Fed Cup singles loss in Brisbane Stosur was adamant Australia would bounce back next year.
“We have been in World Group II last year and at the start of this year and we keep giving ourselves an opportunity to get back into World Group I,’’ said Stosur.
“We will do the same thing in February and hopefully be in this position again in April.
“Today was do or die but every match on tour is like that (even though) this one, you are playing for your country.’’
Despite her latest set-back the world no.26 still holds the record for the most Fed Cup singles wins by an Australian (29) from her 14 years of service.
Captain Alicia Molik couldn’t fault the effort of her team following the loss but felt they definitely missed a golden chance to progress in the competition.
“It’s not the result we wanted and I don’t think it’s the result we were confident we’d get,” said Molik. “We were playing good enough to win this tie, so it’s a lost opportunity.
“We felt really ready to get back to the world group next year particularly with the preparation and everyone’s eagerness, playing a home tie… so an opportunity missed. We need to accept that and rebound next year.”
The US – who were minus the Williams sisters for the tie – have now qualified for World Group I for the first time since 2014.