Rodrigo Abd

BUENOS AIRES, Argentina (AP) Venus Williams defeated Maria Irigoyen of Argentina 6-1, 6-4 on Sunday to advance the United States to the Fed Cup playoffs in April and a chance to return to the World Group, which comprises the top eight teams.

Williams' victory on outdoor clay gave the United States an unassailable 3-1 lead in the best-of-five World Group II tie.

Williams needed only 71 minutes to defeat Irigoyen, which kept the series from going to doubles for the decider.

Earlier Sunday Paula Ormaechea of Argentina defeated Coco Vandeweghe 6-4, 6-4. Vandeweghe filled in for Serena Williams, who did not play because of illness.

Venus and Serena gave the United States a 2-0 lead on Saturday, defeating Ormaechea and Irigoyen.

The Americans have won the Fed Cup title 17 times, more than any other nation, with the last victory in 2000.

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