Australia has advanced to the Fed Cup final for the first time in 26 years after defeating Belarus 3-2.Embed from Getty Images
Photo: Australia celebrate winning against Belarus during the Fed Cup World Group Semi Final – Australia v Belarus at Pat Rafter Arena on April 21, 2019 in Brisbane, Australia. (Photo by Chris Hyde/Getty Images)
As we have become accustomed to seeing, it was Ash Barty, the world no. 9 that won both of her singles rubbers and then she teamed up with Sam Stosur to seal the tie.
On day one Stosur had lost in the opening rubber to Aryna Sabalenka. Barty got things back on track with a win over Victoria Azarenka.
In the first match on Sunday Barty got out of a 0-40 game to surge to a 6-2 first set win over Sabalenka. The second set was much the same.
Barty was in trouble on serve but fought her way out of that game. She then dismantled the game of her opponent, the world no. 10, to win the match 6-2, 6-2.
Stosur had the opportunity to seal the tie when she faced former world no. 1 Victoria Azarenka.
It was not to be for the Australian. Azarenka steamrolled Stosur as she levelled the tie with a 6-1, 6-1 win.
Stosur the Australian Open doubles champion had a chance to redeem herself in the doubles rubber that saw Barty and Stosur take on Azarenka and Sabalenka.
The Australians wrapped up the tie with a 7-5, 3-6, 6-2 victory.
“I’m obviously very very happy, very pleased,’’ said Stosur. “It was super-exciting playing out there in the dubs.
“Obviously the singles didn’t go the way I wanted it to, but to bounce back in 30 minutes and then come out and play as well as what we did, together, and with the team supporting us, that was just an incredible feeling. Amazing.’
“The way that we went about that doubles match was pretty special, and I think the clarity that we had, the game plan that we had, we didn’t stray from it, we stuck to it, and in the big moments we brought our our best, and when you’re wearing the green and gold that’s pretty special,’’ said Barty.
“For me to be able to share this with the girls sitting here now it’s unreal, and the way that ‘Mol’ has been able to create this team atmosphere and environment and this real want and desire to play for Australia again, it’s been unbelievable, it really has. It’s been a two or three year process to get to this point, we’ve taken our opportunities here and we’ve worked as a team.
“It’s a want for all Australian players to show that we’re a powerhouse nation.’’
Australia will host France in the final in November.