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Fed Cup: Azarenka to play Barty in singles

Fed Cup World Group Semi Final - Australia v Belarus: Media Opportunity

BRISBANE, AUSTRALIA - APRIL 19: Ashleigh Barty of Australia and Victoria Azarenka of Belarus pose during Official Fed Cup draw for the Fed Cup World Group Semi Final Australia v Belarus media opportunity at at Emporium Hotel on April 19, 2019 in Brisbane, Australia. (Photo by Chris Hyde/Getty Images)

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BRISBANE, Australia -- Samantha Stosur will open against Aryna Sabalenka of Belarus when singles play begins in a Fed Cup semifinal Saturday on hard courts at Pat Rafter Arena.

Ninth-ranked Ashleigh Barty of Australia will play often doubles partner Victoria Azarenka in the second singles match. The teams will play reverse singles and a doubles match on Sunday.

Stosur, the 2011 U.S. Open winner, was captain Alicia Molik’s choice for singles over Daria Gavrilova when the draw was held Friday.

It will be the first Fed Cup meeting between the countries. Australia last reached the Fed Cup semifinals in 2014, losing 3-1 to Germany, and is looking to make the World Group final for the first time since 1993.

It’s been 45 years since Australia won the title. Australia last won the Federation Cup, as it was known then, in 1974 when the team of Evonne Goolagong, Dianne Fromholtz and Janet Young defeated the United States 2-1 in Naples, Italy.

Belarus has reached the semifinals for the last three years and lost the 2017 final 3-2 to the U.S.

France is hosting Romania on clay at Rouen in the other semifinal this weekend. The semifinal winners will meet in the championship on Nov. 9-10.