Newly-crowned top-10 star Ashleigh Barty to lead Australia vs Belarus

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Newly-crowned top-10 star Ashleigh Barty to lead Australia vs Belarus

Back in February, the Australian Fed Cup team produced a stunning performance in Asheville against the USA, beating the favorites for the first time since 1984 thanks to "Barty party." Ashleigh had the best three months of a career so far in 2019, reaching the final in Sydney, the quarter-final at the Australian Open and claiming the biggest title in Miami after three top-10 wins at Hard Rock Stadium, cracking the top-10 for the first time.

Besides that, Barty led Australia against the Americans, participating in all three wins and pushing her country into the semi-final for the first time since 2014, hosting Belarus in Brisbane between April 20-21. Seeking the first Fed Cup title since 1974 this season, Australia is ready to compete against Victoria Azarenka, Aryna Sabalenka and Aliaksandra Sasnovich in front of the home fans and Barty will be there to guide the yellow and green squad towards the first final since 1993.

"For us it is an opportunity; you don't get to play Fed Cup at home often," Barty said. "Some of the girls are from Queensland in the team.. it's an opportunity to play in front of friends and family. I'm excited to play there; I didn't get to play at Brisbane International in January.

Whoever Mol picks, whoever she selects, I know she and I have full trust in. I’m excited that we’re in a semifinal again. It’s been a while for us Aussies but we’re certainly happy to be back in a strong position in Fed Cup.

I feel like we have a unique team at the moment and it’s a bloody good one. I think we've got more than a good chance of winning our upcoming tie in Brisbane. Belarus have grown into a little bit of a powerhouse nation and have got quality players.

They have a lot of options and multiple options in both singles and doubles. I’m sure we’ll be up against it at times during the tie but I would back us every day of the week. We’re so fortunate to have a captain like Alicia Molik.

She’s been there and done it herself in both singles and doubles and she knows exactly what it is like. She has created this amazing culture within our Fed Cup team whereby girls want to play for their country and want to have the honor of representing Australia and wearing the green and gold – there’s certainly nothing better.

It was entertaining playing with Vika. We haven’t played together that much, only a handful of times really, but I feel we complement each other well. It was nice to play with someone who is on the same wavelength”.