Barty beats doubles partner Azarenka to level Fed Cup semi-final

SYDNEY (Reuters) – International quantity 9 Ashleigh Barty saved alive Australia’s hopes of advancing to their first Fed Cup last in 26 years when she beat former international primary Victoria Azarenka in the second one singles of the tie in opposition to Belarus in Brisbane on Saturday.

FILE PHOTO – Mar 30, 2019; Miami Gardens, FL, USA; Ashleigh Barty of Australia returns a shot again to Karolina Pliskova of the Czech Republic (now not pictured) all the way through the lady’s finals on the Miami Open at Miami Open Tennis Advanced. Necessary Credit score: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports activities

Barty had some bother within the first set in opposition to the two-time Australian Open champion and stored 3 smash issues at Five-Five to head directly to win 7-6(2) 6-Three and degree the tie at 1-1.

Aryna Sabalenka previous gave Belarus a robust begin to the tie when she beat former U.S. Open champion Sam Stosur 7-Five Five-7 6-Three in two hours, 47 mins.

“I knew the primary set could be key,” Barty stated of her fit in opposition to her present doubles spouse.

“I dug myself right into a hollow in that Five-Five recreation however I went again to what I do neatly and were given out of it.

“For me it was once almost about me popping out and doing each factor proper. I ready in point of fact neatly all week.”

International quantity 10 Sabalenka seemed totally out of types within the first two units in opposition to Stosur, with each gamers suffering to carry serve.

Sabalenka, then again, grew to become up her energy recreation within the 3rd and after organising a Four-1 lead blew her first fit level alternative within the 8th recreation on Stosur’s serve when she blasted a backhand volley extensive with the court docket open.

She raced out to a 40-Zero lead within the subsequent recreation and whilst Stosur stored her 2d fit level, the Australian despatched a backhand lengthy at the subsequent level that gave Belarus a 1-Zero lead.

“It was once an improbable fit,” Sabalenka stated. “She performed so fast, I couldn’t contact the ball on her returns. You should battle for every level.

“I’m glad to have treated her degree as of late.”

Australia captain Alicia Molik praised Stosur’s efficiency but in addition hinted that she might trade her lineup for the opposite singles on Sunday, relying on how the 35-year-old recovers.

Australia are making an attempt to achieve their first Fed Cup last since 1993. They have got now not received the identify since 1974.

Belarus have been overwhelmed Three-2 by means of the US of their simplest Fed Cup last look in Minsk in 2017.

Reporting by means of Greg Stutchbury in Wellington; Modifying by means of Sudipto Ganguly

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