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Australia vs Belarus Fed Cup semi-final live streaming, preview and tips - Wins for Barty and Sabalenka set up blockbuster showdown on Sunday

Andrew Hendrie in News 20 Apr 2019
  • Australia vs Belarus Fed Cup semi-final tennis is live from Brisbane between April 20-21 from 1.00pm local time (2.00am BST)
  • Two current top 10 players and two former Grand Slam champions headline the tie
The Australian Fed Cup team in Brisbane (PA Images)

Top 10 stars Ashleigh Barty and Aryna Sabalenka lead Australia and Belarus into battle in Brisbane as the two nations square off for a spot in the 2019 Fed Cup final over the weekend.

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Two teams littered with top 10 talent and former Grand Slam champions do battle inside Pat Rafter Arena as Australia and Belarus clash in the Fed Cup semi-finals, live from Brisbane between April 20-21.

Australia vs Belarus latest results


Day one: Saturday April 20

Aryna Sabalenka (BLR) d. Samantha Stosur (AUS), 7-5, 5-7, 6-3
Ashleigh Barty (AUS) d. Victoria Azarenka (BLR), 7-6(2), 6-3

Australia vs Belarus match schedule



Day one: Saturday April 20

Samantha Stosur (AUS) vs Aryna Sabalenka (BLR)
Ashleigh Barty (AUS) vs Victoria Azarenka (BLR)

Day two: Sunday April 21

Ashleigh Barty (AUS) vs Aryna Sabalenka (BLR)
Samantha Stosur (AUS) vs Victoria Azarenka (BLR)
Ashleigh Barty/Samantha Stosur (AUS) vs Vera Lapko/Lidziya Marozava

Australia vs Belarus preview and predictions

Rubber 3

Ashleigh Barty (AUS) vs Aryna Sabalenka (BLR)
What a superb match in prospect in Brisbane, with this Fed Cup semifinal poised at 1-1 after wins for Barty and Sabalenka on the opening day.

This match between the top singles players could potentially decide the tie. If Sabalenka wins and gives Belarus a 2-1 lead, Victoria Azarenka would have the opportunity to seal the win against Sam Stosur - a likely prospect, given the 9-1 head-to-head between the two. If Barty wins to give Australia a 2-1 lead, Australia can rely on their strength in doubles - probably involving Barty again - to close out the tie.

Just one place in the rankings separates Barty and Sabalenka, although the Australian is obviously having a better season, winning the Miami Open title in March - and had a better outing on Saturday, playing some absolutely exquisite tennis to beat Azarenka in straights while Sabalenka, her shoulder heavily taped, really had to battle in a lengthy one against Stosur. What Sabalenka has on her side, however, is power - and it's served her well in her last two meetings with Barty, both of which she won in straight sets. Barty is playing the best tennis of her career, however, she's fit and energised, and seems to understand better and better how to use her all-court game to phenomenal effect. She has an excellent chance to get a huge win.

Rubber 4

Samantha Stosur (AUS) vs Victoria Azarenka (BLR)
Assuming the nominations stay the same for Sunday's reverse singles, the signs aren't too promising for Samantha Stosur. The veteran played very, very well against Sabalenka to push her to three sets - much better than she has played in recent months - but still went down in three sets, and she is only 1-9 against Victoria Azarenka, who also played very well on Saturday. Even taking into account that Stosur and Azarenka have only played once since 2013, and that was in 2016, that's not propitious.

A change of nominations might not do too much good for Australia, either - Daria Gavrilova got just three games off Azarenka in their only previous meeting, at last year's US Open. This point does look nailed on for Belarus if Azarenka is up to playing. Might Aussie captain Alicia Molik swap in Gavrilova and keep Stosur's powder dry for doubles?

Rubber 5

Ashleigh Barty/Samantha Stosur (AUS) vs Vera Lapko/Lidziya Marozava (BLR)
Should the tie come down to deciding doubles, it's definitely advantage Australia, with two totally world class doubles players in Barty and Stosur, and Daria Gavrilova not half bad either and available to be swapped in.

Azarenka is also an excellent doubles player and the Belarusians would probably put her in alongside Sabalenka - if the world no. 10's shoulder is up to it - or Lapko, but if the tie is still alive when this rubber is reached, the opportunity will definitely be there for Australia to make the Fed Cup final.

Australia vs Belarus tie information


Location: Brisbane, Australia
Venue: Pat Rafter Arena
Surface: Hardcourt
Australia: Ashleigh Barty, Samantha Stosur, Daria Gavrilova, Priscilla Hon, Alicia Molik (captain)
Belarus: Aryna Sabalenka, Victoria Azarenka, Aliaksandra Sasnovich, Vera Lapko, Lidziya Marozava, Tatiana Poutchek (captain)

Traditional powerhouses Australia are attempting to make their first Fed Cup since 1993, while Belarus are in the midst of their golden age and are looking to make it two finals in three years after making their first final in 2017, where they were edged by USA.

Ashleigh Barty has emerged as a dominant leader of this Australian team, coming into this semi-final as the newest member of the top 10 after winning the star-studded Miami Open, while she was also instrumental in Australia beating USA in the quarter-finals earlier this season, winning both her singles rubbers and teaming up with Priscilla Hon to take out the decisive doubles match.

Belarus meanwhile surged to a dominant 4-0 win over Germany in their quarter-final, with World No. 10 Aryna Sabalenka dropping a combined four games in demolishing Andrea Petkovic and Laura Siegemund. Two-time major champion Victoria Azarenka played her first Fed Cup match since 2016 in that win when she featured in the doubles and is preferred in the opening singles to the higher-ranked Aliaksandra Sasnovich, who won the Brisbane International title on this court in 2018.

A potential doubles showdown between the nations would be very interesting, with Barty and Stosur Grand Slam champions, with the latter winning the Australian Open in January, while Azarenka has won two mixed doubles major titles and been a runner-up twice at the Australian Open in women’s doubles.


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Australia vs Belarus Fed Cup semi-final live streaming, preview and tips - Wins for Barty and Sabalenka set up blockbuster showdown on Sunday

Top 10 stars Ashleigh Barty and Aryna Sabalenka lead Australia and Belarus into battle in Brisbane as the two nations square off for a spot in the 2019 Fed Cup final over the weekend.

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