Australian No.1 Ashleigh Barty eased past Madison Keys to open up the second day of play, and then partnered Priscilla Hon to win the decisive doubles, to lead Australia over the United States and into the Fed Cup semifinals.
WTA Staff
February 11, 2019

ASHEVILLE, NC, USA - Australia's No.1 Ashleigh Barty delivered three points overall, and two on the final Sunday, to lead her country into the Fed Cup semifinals for the first time in five years.

The World No.13 partnered debutant Priscilla Hon to defeat Danielle Collins and Nicole Melichar of the United States in the deciding doubles rubber to send Australia into the final four, 6-4, 7-5.

The Aussies will host a semifinal tie, their first appearance at that stage since 2014, against Belarus in April. 

Read more: Belarus, France roll into Fed Cup semifinals

To kick off the day, Barty scored her first-ever victory over Madison Keys in the first rubber of the second day of play to put visiting Australia ahead, 2-1.

However, the tie ultimately come down to the deciding doubles as Collins, substituted in for Sofia Kenin, came from a break down in the final set to defeat Daria Gavrilova, who was also substituted in for Kimberly Birrell, 6-1, 3-6, 6-2.

"When you’re playing with Australia written on your back, wearing the green and gold, it’s the best feeling, regardless if you’re home or away," Barty told reporters after the match

"These are the moments you remember for the rest of your life. You play a million matches on tour, but the best memories come from these Fed Cup weeks."


After both Barty and Keys scored a win on Saturday to see the tie level at 1-1 headed into day two, the World No.13 trailed early in the rubber against Keys, as she fell behind by two breaks of serve at 3-0. 

Nonetheless, the Aussie No.1 quickly turned the match around and won 12 of the final 14 games of the encounter to put her country in front. 

Keys was unable to harness her power game effectively over the course of 68 minutes, as she racked up 24 unforced errors to just nine winners over the course of the match.

The American fired just one ace off her booming serve in eight service games, surrendering her delivery to the Aussie all but once as Barty converted seven of the 14 break points she held. 

"I’m happy because this is such a youthful team. I’m incredibly proud," said Aussie captain Alicia Molik.

"The win, beating the USA, winning this tie, put that aside. I think what I’m proud of is not just their efforts but their commitment. Every player here has put their hand up incredibly early to play Fed Cup for Australia."