Australian Ashleigh Barty beat Victoria Azarenka of Belarus 7-6 (2), 6-3 to level their Fed Cup semifinal at 1-1 after the opening day of singles on hard courts at Pat Rafter Arena
Australian Ashleigh Barty beat Victoria Azarenka of Belarus 7-6 (2), 6-3 to level their Fed Cup semifinal at 1-1 after the opening day of singles on Saturday on hard courts at Pat Rafter Arena.
Barty’s win ended Azarenka’s 13-match winning streak in Fed Cup play. Earlier, Aryna Sabalenka gave Belarus a 1-0 lead after defeating Samantha Stosur 7-5, 5-7, 6-3.
Sabalenka won the first set when she broke serve in the final game. Stosur took the second thanks to a service break at 4-3. In the final set, the Belarussian player saved two break points in the first game and broke serve in the fourth before serving out to claim victory in 2 hours, 47 minutes.
The teams will play reverse singles and a doubles match on Sunday.
It is the first Fed Cup meeting between the countries. Australia last reached the semifinals in 2014, losing 3-1 to Germany, and is looking to make the World Group final for the first time since 1993.
Belarus has reached the semifinals for the last three years and lost the 2017 final 3-2 to the U.S. France is hosting Romania on clay at Rouen in the other semifinal this weekend.
The winners meet in the final on Nov. 9-10, with Australia playing at home if it advances.
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