Published: Wed, April 24, 2019
Sport | By Kayla Schwartz

Fed Cup semi: Australia, Belarus tied 2-2 ahead of doubles

Fed Cup semi: Australia, Belarus tied 2-2 ahead of doubles

Sam Stosur had a chance to grab a moment of history in Brisbane, instead she faltered and was crushed in brutal fashion by fellow former grand slam victor Victoria Azarenka.

Barty, who won both her singles matches in the semi-final tie, and veteran Samantha Stosur beat Victoria Azarenka and Aryna Sabalenka 7-5 3-6 6-2 in the deciding doubles to set up a final against either France or Romania in November.

Despite the lop-sided scoreline, Barty was made to work hard by her fellow top-10 player Sabalenka, who lost control of the match in the fifth game of the first set when she served four double faults.

Despite the tough loss, Victoria is delighted with the weekend overall and the way she and the rest of the squad competed, giving their best to keep Belarus in contention until the very last point of the final match.

Barty didn't need another invitation and she broke Sabalenka again before she served out the match. "I prepared really well all week". Stosur took the second thanks to a service break at 4-3.

A net volley from Stosur gave Australia the crucial advantage off the Azarenka serve in the fourth game of set three and they held their nerve for a famous victory.

Sabalenka was the first to crack when she handed the 22-year-old Barty a break with a loose forehand and double fault for a 3-2 lead.

Jake Arrieta critical of Bryce Harper's ejection
Harper didn't say much to Carlson as he walked to the dugout after the call, but he apparently kept yelling from the bench. Harper struck out swinging his first time up, then was called out on strikes by Mark Carlson to begin the fourth.

Simona Halep's dream of adding a maiden Fed Cup title to her Roland Garros breakthrough triumph was on a knife-edge Saturday as Romania and France ended the opening day of their semi-final locked at 1-1.

But the nerves were fluttering in her singles match against two-time Australian Open victor Azarenka, who quickly took charge, racing to 4-1 lead.

Halep and partner Monica Niculescu took the first set before Kristina Mladenovic and Garcia, spurred on by the home crowd, won the next two to earn a dramatic 5-7, 6-3, 6-4 win and secure a place in November's final.

Pauline Parmentier 6-3 2-6 6-2, who had won just one of her eight Fed Cup rubbers, beat Irina Begu 6-3 2-6 6-2 to send the tie to the decider with the Romanian struggling with an ankle injury in the third set.

It was the first Fed Cup meeting between the countries.

The Netherlands, which just three years ago reached the Fed Cup semifinals, slipped into the Europe/Africa Group 1 after an abject display in Osaka.

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