Australia Defeated Belarus For The First Fed Cup Final Since 1993
Editorials News | Apr-23-2019
Australia reached its first Fed Cup final since 1993 on Sunday, with Ashleigh Barty and Samantha Stosur winning the fifth decisive match in Brisbane against Belarussian pair Victoria Azarenka and Aryna Sabalenka.
His fight for 7-5, 3-6, 6-2 won a title match against France or Romania in November.
The tie was sent to the crucial doubles match after Azarenka crushed Stosur 6-1, 6-1 in the reverse singles, after Barty swept Sabalenka 6-2, 6-2.
Belarus, losing finalist in 2017, was scheduled to face Lidziya Marozava and Vera Lapko against the Australian duo, who played together for the first time. But with so much at stake, the captain of the team, Tatiana Poutchek, opted for the most successful match.
But they fell short to give the seven Australian champions an opportunity in their first title since the last time they won in 1974.
"I could not have chosen two more perfect athletes to compete in. Ash and Sam are superstars," said exalted Australian captain Alicia Molik.
Barty called the final "incredible", while Stosur said it was "super exciting".
"We knew it would be difficult and we are very happy with the way we play," added Stosur. "All the girls have worked very hard throughout the year and we really stay together."
Observed at the Pat Rafter Arena by Evonne Goolagong, who led Australia to the Fed Cup's last victory, the home team took an early break against Sabalenka's service in the opening game.
Belarus equalized in the sixth game and exchanged breaks again before the Australians attacked the Azarenka service to break 6-5 in front, with Stosur securing the set with a big hit.
The second set was with serve until a powerful right-wing Sabalenka from Stosur gave Belarus the advantage and Sabalenka served the set to take the tie to the wire.
A net volley from Stosur gave Australia the crucial advantage of the Azarenka service in the fourth game of set three and they remained at their worth for a famous victory.
- "Very concentrated" -
Before, the number nine of the frozen world, Barty produced an imposing performance to beat Sabalenka, classified a place below it.
He had a rest in game five of the first set, when the Belarussian fired four double faults, including the point of rest. The Sabalenka service wobbles continued with Barty exploiting the weakness to take the set.
By: Preeti Narula
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