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2019 Fed Cup semi-final, Rubber 5
Australia vs Belarus
Pat Rafter Arena, Brisbane
Ashleigh Barty and Samantha Stosur (Australia) vs Victoria Azarenka and Aryna Sabalenka (Belarus)
The Fed Cup semi-final will come down to a final doubles rubber, as Australia and Belarus fight it out for the right to host the final. Join The Roar for live scores and coverage from around 5:30pm (AEDT).
The Aussies have traditionally been one of the better doubles teams in the world, and a fifth rubber under pressure on home soil should suit them down to the ground.
The onus will be on Ashleigh Barty to lead the charge for the home side. She is rated as one of the best doubles players in the world, and while it’s her singles game which has taken the world by storm in the last few years, she is a former grand slam champion on the doubles court.
Barty is listed to play alongside Samantha Stosur, and while the pair have had some impressive results as a duo in the past, Stosur herself has found form on the doubles court in 2019.
She kicked off the year by taking out the Australian Open alongside Shuai Zhang, knocking out the two top-rated teams in the world in the process, and the combination of Barty’s all court game and Stosur’s power works excellently for the Aussies.
The biggest problem is that both Barty and Stosur have played two singles matches over the weekend, and will be up against fresh players if they aren’t swapped.
Vera Lapko and Lidziya Marozava have been named to play for the visitors, and won their only previous match as a duo against Viktoria Kuzmova and Anna Schmiedlova in the Fed Cup last year.
However, Lapko isn’t an out and out doubles player, and has been struggling for form on the singles court, while Marozava has also been struggling for form, with just two wins in her last five doubles matches to go with her second round exit at this year’s Australian Open.
The Australians are outstanding on the doubles court, seemingly with whichever combination they go with. You can guarantee Barty will be there, and she should guide the home side to the final, where they will host either France or Romania.
Australia in three sets.
Be sure to join us here on The Roar for live coverage of the fifth and final doubles rubber at the Fed Cup semi-final between Australia and Belarus from around 5:30pm (AEDT), and don’t forget to add your comments in the section below.