Sam Stosur and Ash Barty combined to win the doubles match against Belarus in the Fed Cup semi-final in Brisbane. Picture: AAP
Sam Stosur and Ash Barty combined to win the doubles match against Belarus in the Fed Cup semi-final in Brisbane. Picture: AAP

Barty top gun in Cup final showdown

Australian dominator Ash Barty is set to be the top-ranked player in the home final of the Fed Cup in November.

France eliminated the Romanian team headed by world No.2 Simona Halep with a 3-2 win in the other semi-final in Rouen, France.

Like Australia did against Belarus at Pat Rafter Arena on Sunday, France won a decisive doubles rubber to make the final to be played in Australia on November 9-10.

France's No.1 player is world No.21 Caroline Garcia and their other day-two singles player, Pauline Parmentier, is ranked No.53.

If the French cannot stop world No.9 Barty's 14-match winning streak in Fed Cup singles and doubles, they cannot hope to prevent Australia winning a first title since 1974.

 

Daria Gavrilova, Sam Stosur, Ash Barty, Priscilla Hon and Alicia Molik celebrate their Fed Cup semi-final win against Belarus. Picture: AAP
Daria Gavrilova, Sam Stosur, Ash Barty, Priscilla Hon and Alicia Molik celebrate their Fed Cup semi-final win against Belarus. Picture: AAP

 

Australian captain Alicia Molik said it would be intriguing to see which ranking Barty, 22, is by November, given there are three Grand Slam events in the interim.

"I've loved watching Ash over the past 24 months, her ability to deal with diversity on the court and setbacks when things aren't going her way,'' Molik said. "She loves the big occasion, the big stage. I can't remember enjoying that until my late 20s.

"Physically Ash can more than match it with anyone - three hours is not a problem.

"She enjoys grass and hardcourts, but when it's a warm Paris day the clay will really suit (Barty). Making the final will give each of our players energy for the rest of the year.''

Tennis Australia will see if there is interest from other state governments in hosting the final.

Perth and Melbourne have venues almost three times bigger than the 5500-seat Rafter Arena.

But those markets have not demonstrated the support for the Australian team when compared to Brisbane, which has been responsible for the two biggest attendances at a Fed Cup tie in Australia in the past three years.

TA head of major events Cameron Pearson said a venue selection process would start.

"I'd think a lot of stadiums would want to host a final,'' Pearson said.

"We want the women to win the Fed Cup. They need to be in an environment they are happy in. It's been a fantastic record-breaking weekend for them here.''

Barty resumes on the WTA Tour on May 4 at Madrid, while Stosur was straight out of Brisbane on Monday to play a $125,000 tournament in China.

"Then I have qualifying for Madrid and qualies of Rome before the Strasbourg main draw,'' Stosur said.

News Corp Australia

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