Rival's touch of class after moment of magic from Barty

A moment of sheer brilliance from Ash Barty has left her rival in a state of awe during their Fed Cup semi-final reverse singles rubber.

Australia’s trump card delivered again, beating top-10 rival Aryna Sabalenka to put Australia ahead 2-1 in their Fed Cup semi-final against Belarus.

Barty followed her impressive opening victory over Victoria Azarenka with another clinical display on Sunday in Brisbane.

The 22-year-old, ranked ninth in the world, absorbed the World No.10 Sabalenka’s best efforts before cruising to a 6-2 6-2 win.

Barty mixed up her game superbly to keep Sabalenka guessing, with a sensational point in the second set sending the crowd into raptures.

Barty was in superb tough during her straight sets win over Sabalenka. Pic: Getty

The Aussie looked out of the rally when Sabalenka sliced a crafty drop shot down the line.

However, Barty showed extraordinary court coverage to chase down the ball and send a forehand winner down the line.

The Belarusian looked on in disbelief, before walking back to her baseline clapping the Aussie’s brilliance in a lovely touch of sportsmanship.

Fans were also quick to praise Barty after another impressive showing cemented her status as one of the most in-form women in world tennis.









Barty proved too steady for the free-wheeling Sabalenka, grinding away on her opponent’s serve until it eventually proved too much for the Belarusian.

Sabalenka’s serving woes of Saturday returned, with six double faults among 16 unforced errors in the first set compared to Barty’s seven.

Conversely, Barty served well in the clutch moments, fending off the early pressure and sealing the first set with an ace.

It was more of the same in the second set as Barty produced in the big moments to save four break points across her first two service games.

Sabalenka was the first to crack when she handed the 22-year-old Barty a break with a loose forehand and double fault for a 3-2 lead.

Barty didn’t need another invitation and she broke Sabalenka again before she served out the match.

Australia’s No.1 walked onto court with three-year-old niece Lucy in her arms to start the day and brought her into the post-game press conference.


With Lucy sitting next to her, Barty credited Sam Stosur for exposing some cracks in Sabalenka’s armour on Saturday.

“I was able to take advantage of it today, particularly on return games,” she said.

“It was a wrestle, it was important to hang in there physically and continue to build pressure.”

Australian captain Alicia Molik resisted the temptation to inject the higher-ranked Daria Gavrilova ahead of Stosur for the fourth rubber given how well the Queenslander struck the ball on Saturday.


However, Stosur proved no match for Azarenka on Sunday as the Belarusian sent the tie into a deciding doubles rubber.

The former World No.1 levelled the tie 2-2 after a ruthless display against Stosur, having gone down to Barty in Saturday’s singles rubber.

Azarenka clearly enjoyed her match-up with Stosur much better as she romped away with the 6-1 6-1 win.

With AAP