Fed Cup semifinal: Barty gives Australia 2-1 lead vs Belarus

BRISBANE, Australia (AP) — Ashleigh Barty has moved Australia to within one win of the Fed Cup final after beating Aryna Sabalenka 6-2, 6-2 in the first reverse singles match Sunday.

Australia leads the best-of-five semifinal 2-1 over Belarus. In the second reverse singles, Victoria Azarenka was scheduled to play Australia's Samantha Stosur, with doubles to follow.

On the first day, Barty beat regular doubles partner Azarenka 7-6 (2), 6-3 after Sabalenka had given Belarus a 1-0 lead with a 7-5, 5-7, 6-3 win over Stosur.

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

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, with the teams level at 1-1 after the first day.

The winners meet in the final on Nov. 9-10, with Australia playing at home if it advances.


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