Barty, Hon clinch decisive win as Australia ousts U.S. in Fed Cup play

Barty, Hon clinch decisive win as Australia ousts U.S. in Fed Cup play

Barty, Hon clinch decisive win as Australia ousts U.S. in Fed Cup play

Written by Reuters

11 Feb, 2019 | 12:24 pm

REUTERS –  Ashleigh Barty won a pair of matches — first in singles play and then in doubles play — to help Australia knock off the United States and move into the Fed Cup World Group semifinals for the first time since 2014.

Barty, who is ranked 13th in the world and boasts the No. 1 Australian ranking for the Fed Cup, helped her country secure a 3-2 win over Team USA Sunday (February 10). She rolled past Madison Keys 6-4, 6-1, and partnered with Priscille Hon to win their decisive doubles match 6-4, 7-5 over Danielle Collins and Nicole Melichar.

Collins had forced the winner-take-all match after she evened the team score at 2 with a 6-1, 3-6, 6-2 win over Daria Gavrilova.

Elsewhere, Romania outlasted defending champion Czech Republic with a 3-2 win that came down to a decisive doubles round. Irina-Camelia Begu and Monica Niculescu held off Barbora Krejcikova and Katerina Siniakova to seal the victory.

The highlight of the contest was a two-hour, 37-minute battle in which Romania’s Simona Halep emerged with a 6-4, 5-7, 6-4 win over Czech Republic’s Karolina Pliskova. Both players have been ranked No. 1 in the world in the past.

In the semifinals, Australia will play host to Belarus, which stormed past Germany with a 4-0 win. Belarus’ top-ranked player, Aryna Sabalenka, set the tone with a 6-1, 6-1 victory against Laura Siegemund. France also advanced and will host Romania in the semifinals. The French posted a 3-1 win over Belgium thanks in part to stellar singles play from Caroline Garcia, who enjoyed a 6-2, 6-3 win over Elise Mertens.

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