Australia beats Belarus 3-2 to face France in Fed Cup final

Australia beats Belarus 3-2 to face France in Fed Cup final

Australian Ashleigh Barty beat doubles partner Victoria Azarenka of Belarus 7-6 (2), 6-3 to level their Fed Cup semifinal at 1-1 on Saturday.

The Aussie duo won a decisive 7-5, 3-6, 6-2 match against Aryna Sabalenka and Victoria Azarenka of Belarus in one hour and 55 minutes at the Pat Rafter Arena in the Queensland state capital.

The victor in Brisbane will host either France or Romania in November's final.

Ashleigh Barty guided Australia to their first Fed Cup final since 1993 with a 3-2 victory over Belarus in Brisbane on Sunday.

"It was just an incredible weekend", Molik said.

"We knew it was going to be a tough one and we just so happy with how we played", added Stosur.

6-3 defeat of the two-time Australian Open champion showed off all the attributes that have shot the 22-year-old into the top 10, while team captain Alicia Molik thought Stosur played some of the best tennis of her 20-year career on home soil in a gallant 7-5 5-7 6-3 loss to the world No.10.

A tight second set also went with serve until the fifth game, and in a mirror image of the first Barty again broke when Sabalenka double faulted as the pressure mounted and sealed the match with an ace.

World number nine Barty was ideal all weekend, winning both her singles matches against Sabalenka and Azarenka in straight sets before lining up in the doubles, and she needed to be.

Azarenka sent the tie into the decider when she produced some of the high quality tennis that had propelled her to two Australian Open titles.

Barty was ice cool all weekend, striding calmly onto court with three-year-old niece Lucy in her arms on Sunday before switching into game mode.

The win for Australia sees Barty take her 12th straight win in the Fed Cup.

The two-time Australian Open champion was in a different league to the former US Open victor, who meekly succumbed 6-1, 6-1 in just 59 minutes.

The two 25-year-olds defeated world number two Simona Halep and Monica Niculescu 5-7 6-3 6-4 to wrap up the tie in front of an enthusiastic home crowd in the Normandy city of Rouen, ending Romania's dreams to reach their maiden final.

Garcia and Mladenovic were playing together for the first time since they were defeated by the Czech Republic in the deciding doubles of the 2016 Fed Cup final.

Belarus has reached the semifinals for the last three years and lost the 2017 final 3-2 to the U.S.

Related Articles