Fed Cup semifinal: Australia, Belarus level after 1st day

BRISBANE, Australia — Australian Ashleigh Barty beat doubles partner Victoria Azarenka of Belarus 7-6 (2), 6-3 to level their Fed Cup semifinal at 1-1 on Saturday.

Barty's win on hard courts at Pat Rafter Arena ended Azarenka's 13-match winning streak in the Fed Cup.

"I knew the first set would be key," Barty said after the opening day of singles. "It was just about me coming out and doing everything right. I prepared really well all week. This is why we train, we want to get down to crunch time, go out and enjoy it."

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.

"It was an unbelievable match," Sabalenka said. "She played so quick, I couldn't touch the ball on her returns."

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.

___

More AP tennis coverage: https://apnews.com/apf-Tennis and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

Related News

'Crazy' good: Federer into 4th round at...

Jan 20, 2017

Roger Federer showed that his first two wins against qualifiers at the Australian Open really were...

Chinese sportswear brand makes inroads in tennis...

Jan 20, 2017

Svetlana Kuznetsova has a different look than most tennis players

Venus focused on tennis, not age, in record 73rd...

Jan 20, 2017

One could never accuse Venus Williams of being sensitive about her age

Nadal holds off Zverev to reach 4th round at...

Jan 21, 2017

Rafael Nadal had a good, hard look at the future before pulling a few tricks from his past to hold...

Bryan brothers announce retirement from Davis Cup...

Jan 22, 2017

Bob and Mike Bryan are retiring from playing Davis Cup for the United States after 14 years with...

Tough at the top: Murray, Kerber make 4th-round...

Jan 22, 2017

It was tough at the top for Andy Murray and Angelique Kerber at the Australian Open, with both the...

About Us

All Sports Today provides premium digital content to the connected sports fans all over the world. We deliver breaking news, in-depth analysis with scores and statistics of your favorite team.