Fed Cup: Spain beat Japan as Germany, Belarus, Switzerland & Belgium also qualify

Spain celebrate victory
Spain are chasing a sixth Fed Cup title with their last title coming in 1998

Carla Suarez Navarro completed Spain's win over Japan to secure the five-time champions' place in the Fed Cup Finals.

Suarez Navarro, who will retire this year, beat Kurumi Nara 6-1 6-3 to secure a 3-1 win in Cartagena, Murcia.

They will be joined in April's inaugural 12-nation Finals by Russia, who beat Romania 3-2 thanks to victory in the deciding doubles rubber.

Germany are also through, beating Brazil 4-0 without dropping a set in three singles and one doubles match.

Belarus were tied 2-2 with the Netherlands before Aryna Sabalenka and Aliaksandra Sasnovich won the deciding doubles rubber in a dramatic third-set tie-break to win 3-2.

Switzerland and Belgium also qualified for the Finals in Budapest with 3-1 victories over Canada and Kazakhstan respectively.

Australia, France, Czech Republic and hosts Hungary had already qualified.

With Slovakia also through following their 3-1 victory over Great Britain, the remaining place will be filled by the United States or Latvia.

The US lead their tie 2-0 after Serena Williams beat Jelena Ostapenko on Friday.

Williams puts US in control

Serena Williams
Williams is unbeaten in 14 Fed Cup singles matches

In Everett, Washington, 23-time Grand Slam champion Williams defeated 2017 French Open winner Ostapenko 7-6 (7-4) 7-6 (7-3) overnight to put the US in a dominant position in their qualifying tie.

That came after newly crowned Australian Open champion Sofia Kenin beat Anastasija Sevastova 6-2 6-2 in the first rubber.

"It's been a long journey. It wasn't easy," said world number seven Kenin.

"But I was super happy to come here and play with the team."

Williams added: "I'm really proud of being able to get the win for the team. I'm really excited that I was able to go through it.''

The qualifier continues from 23:30 GMT with Kenin taking on Ostapenko in the third rubber.

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