Ashleigh Barty: 'There's nothing better than playing Fed Cup at home'

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Ashleigh Barty: 'There's nothing better than playing Fed Cup at home'

“We still have a long way to go; it’s been a bit of a work in progress for us the last two or three years to put ourselves in this position to have the chance to make another final,” Barty said. “I can guarantee that all four of us, and all of the wider team as well, are doing everything possible to give ourselves a chance, and no matter who plays on the weekend we’re gonna give it a crack and try our best, holding our heads high.

These weeks in Fed Cup are really special – you only get to do it a couple of times a year. It’s nice to come here on Pat Rafter Arena, and we know that we can play our best tennis on that court. I played Sabalenka at the Australian Open two years ago and she is a different person and different player to what she was then.

Absolutely a force to be reckoned with – she’s one of the elites of our sport and has a very destructive game and can be very powerful, can take the game away from you. The way that she’s been able to lead the Belarusian team into a final two years ago, and now back to a semi, with some pretty good company around her, they’re a hell of a team.

I think they have options. Vika is not here yet… I have been close with her in the last month or so. She hasn’t quite arrived, but they have so many options for both singles and doubles. You have to take the confidence; it was one of the best weeks of my career.

I struck the ball better than ever and played some great matches. It’s been a while since I’ve played a competitive match in Brisbane but there’s certainly nothing better, and hopefully we can have a full crowd on the weekend and fill out the stadium”.