Australian Ashleigh Barty was the hero when Australia edged the U.S. 3-2 in the Fed Cup tennis quarterfinals this past weekend.
In the deciding doubles match Barty and Aussie partner Priscilla Hon defeated Americans Danielle Collins and Nicole Melichar 6-4, 7-5.
Barty won all three of her matches over the weekend, capturing her Friday singles opener over Sofia Kenin 6-1, 7-6(2), then on Sunday upsetting Madison Keys in singles 6-4, 6-1, then later in the day clinching the deciding doubles.
Barty has now won 11 Fed Cup singles and doubles matches in a row.
“When you’re playing with Australia written on your back, wearing the green and gold, it’s the best feeling, regardless if you’re home or away,” Barty said afterwards. “These are the moments you remember for the rest of your life. You play a million matches on tour, but the best memories come from these Fed Cup weeks.”
Collins in the first singles on Sunday forced the doubles decider by defeating Aussie Daria Gavrilova in 6-1, 3-6, 6-2.
It is the first Fed Cup semifinal since 2014 for the Australians, who last raised a Fed Cup title in 1974.
“It’s been a long time between drinks, hasn’t it?” said Australian captain Alicia Molik after the doubles decider. “I’m happy because this is such a youthful team. The win, beating the USA, winning this tie, put that aside. I think what I’m proud of is not just their efforts but their commitment. Every player here has put their hand up incredibly early to play Fed Cup for Australia.”
The U.S. were without their No. 1 player, world No. 4 Sloane Stephens, and their No. 2 player and No. 11-ranked Serena Williams.
The result broke a streak of two consecutive finals for the U.S.
“I can’t ask for any more than what these girls gave this week and today,” U.S. captain Kathy Rinaldi said. “They left it all out on the court. That’s all a captain can ask for.”
For more info go to www.fedcup.com.