Wednesday, 22 May 2019 | 06:27 WIB

Victoria Azarenka Set to Compete in Singles Match at Fed Cup Semifinals

Victoria Azarenka Set to Compete in Singles Match at Fed Cup Semifinals (indiatoday)

LONDON, NETRALNEWS.COM - Former world number one women's tennis player Victoria Azarenka will play in the singles number for the Belarus team in the Fed Cup semi-final against Australia, and will meet partner in Ashleigh Barty's doubles match in Brisbane, Australia on Saturday (20/4) / 2019).

The Australian Open doubles champion was chosen to compete ahead of world number 35 Aliaksandra Sasnovich, possibly because of her success on the blue hard court of Down Under, where she also won titles in Brisbane and Sydney.

The match will be his first appearance in the singles number in the Fed Cup since the World Group playoff against Russia in 2016, after he had a baby and limited his tournament trip due to child guardianship issues. He played doubles against the German team earlier this year.

Azarenka and Barty paired up in doubles at the Australian Open and were back in Miami last month, where they reached the semifinals.

Azarenka beat Barty in their only singles meeting - last year in Tokyo - but after that the Australian topped the world top 10 and won her first Premier tournament in Miami last month.

Barty estimates that Azarenka, ranked 61st in the world, will take advantage of his success in Australia, as they fight after the first match between former US Open champion Samantha Stosur against world number 10 Aryna Sabalenka.

"In Australia he has won a number of the best results. He is very familiar with this surface, with this field," Barty was quoted as saying by ESPN.

Stosur's selection by Australian team captain Alicia Molik to open the match against the player who had a hard hit Sabalenka, was also a bit of a surprise when the 35-year-old struggled in a domestic tournament.

The 2011 US Open champion never reached more than the fourth round at the Australian Open and struggled in Brisbane and Sydney, but Molik said his experience made him prefer Stosur to the higher ranked Daria Gavrilova.

Single number cross matches and multiple matches, if needed, are scheduled for Sunday (21/4).

France will host Romania on the indoor field at Rouen in the other semi-final.