Barty prepares for friendly Belarus fire at Fed Cup
Ashleigh Barty expects plenty more from doubles partner Victoria Azarenka than her misleading ranking suggests if your pair play just for your second time in a Fed Cup semi-final in Brisbane.
Belarusian Azarenka would have been a late arrival for any tie starting on Saturday but, like Samantha Stosur to your hosts, has won a singles spot in advance of higher-ranked teammates in a very nod to her experience. The 29-year-old can be a former world No.1 having won the Australian Open and Brisbane International twice. Currently ranked 61 on the globe, the charismatic star is back to close her best following the birth of first child Leo in December 2019.
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Barty, that has surged to world No.9, has struck up a friendship along with her opponent, reaching a Miami Open doubles semi-final together with her three weeks ago. “She’s a fantastic slam champion and that is exactly the way in which she conducts herself on court and also in Australia where she’s had a few greatest results,” Barty said. “In the easiest way it’s remarkable what’s she’s been ready to do after having Leo. In spite of the number next to her name she fights and prepares like a grand slam champion.”
Azarenka beat Barty 6-4 6-2 in Tokyo last September with their only career meeting. “It was pretty one-way traffic,” Barty said. “But I’ve hit other balls with your ex-girlfriend together with to grasp her better (since).”
Stosur will lead Australia off against world No.10 Aryna Sabalenka after winning the area you choose ahead of Daria Gavrilova, who will be ranked 15 spots above her at 58.
Australia are gunning for his or her first Fed Cup final appearance, which might be on home soil in November, since 1993. They haven’t won a tie since 1974, when led by Evonne Goolagong Cawley.
“There’s a great deal of endangered for individuals, it’s something we always mention,” captain Alicia Molik said. “It’s been a conscious talking point ever since the before we made the semi-final (in 2019). There’s an objective which is November … it’s actually a huge hurdle the other day but we’ve set our bar pretty high.”