Ashleigh Barty guides Australia to Fed Cup final
France beat Romania 3-2 to set up November final in Australia
Last Updated: 24/04/19 3:25pm
Ashleigh Barty guided Australia to their first Fed Cup final since 1993 with a 3-2 victory over Belarus in Brisbane on Sunday.
Barty, who won both her singles matches in the semi-final tie, and veteran Samantha Stosur beat Victoria Azarenka and Aryna Sabalenka 7-5, 3-6, 6-2 in the deciding doubles to set up a final against France in November.
Australia, who have not won the title since 1974, will host the final against France, who came from behind to beat Romania 3-2.
"It's super exciting to be in a Fed Cup final," Stosur said. "We all work so hard all year and we're such a tight team. We're going to be giving it our best shot here in November."
World No 9 Barty had earlier given Australia a 2-1 lead after a superb mixture of tactics, scrambling defence, and a powerful service game to beat Sabalenka 6-2 6-2.
It was her second singles win of the tie after she ended Azarenka's 13-match winning streak in the competition on Saturday, and her success came on the back of winning her first WTA Premier level tournament in Miami last month.
Azarenka was originally not listed to play the doubles, but after she dismantled Stosur 6-1 6-1 in 59 minutes to send the tie to the decider, she quickly had her rackets restrung and joined the 20-year-old Sabalenka in the doubles, where they went down to defeat.
Two-time champions France pulled off a stunning comeback to beat Romania in Rouen.
Caroline Garcia and Kristina Mladenovic beat Simona Halep and Monica Niculescu in a deciding doubles tie 5-7 6-3 6-4 in an enthralling battle.
Halep had earlier fought back from a set down to beat Garcia 6-7 (6-8) 6-3 6-4 in the first of the day's rubbers.
Similarly, she had also given Romania the lead in her first singles match on Saturday, but in a repeat of the first day's proceedings, the French levelled, courtesy of Pauline Parmentier.
Parmentier, who was called up in place of Mladenovic, who had played singles on Saturday, beat Irina-Camelia Begu 6-3 2-6 6-2 to set up the decider.
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