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Brisbane named Host City for Australia’s Fed Cup World Group Semis vs Belarus

Alicia Molik to lead Australia in Fed Cup World Group Semifinal against Belarus
Alicia Molik (Image: Facebook)

Brisbane has been named as the host city for Australia’s Fed Cup World Group semifinal against Belarus from 20-21 April 2019.

The tie will be played on hardcourt at Pat Rafter Arena as Fed Cup returns to Brisbane for the first time since 2016.

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The Aussie team earned their spot in the semifinals when Queensland’s Ashleigh Barty led the side to a historic 3-2 win over the USA in Asheville, North Carolina, in February. The last time the team reached the Fed Cup semis was in 2014, when they went down to a powerhouse German team.

“We’re excited to play another Fed Cup tie at home, and we are very much looking forward to coming back to Brisbane,” Australian Fed Cup captain Alicia Molik said.

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“The whole team, led by Ash (Barty) worked hard for the win over the USA and I can honestly say that winning the tie was one of the highlights of my career.

“Everyone is highly motivated to keep that success going. Playing for your country is always special, and a home semifinal (Fed Cup World Group) against such quality opposition is both an honour and a privilege.

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“Belarus has a group of incredibly strong players and we expect them to be tough. But we also know we’ll have terrific support from the fans and look forward to a great turnout in Brisbane,” Molik continued.

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“We are honoured that Brisbane has been selected to host a blockbuster Fed Cup world group semifinal tie on Pat Rafter Arena,” Tennis Queensland CEO Mark Handley added.

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“Off the back of an inspiring win against the USA we couldn’t ask for a finer group of role models than our current Fed Cup team and I know our strong tennis community and sports fans alike will be keen to come and support them in their quest for a place in the World Group final for the first time since 1993.

“It’s particularly special to be given the opportunity to host this tie in Brisbane, given the recent success of our Queensland players who featured so significantly in the February win against the USA and across the Aussie summer.”

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Tourism Industry Development Minister Kate Jones said the semifinal tie would take place on April 20-21 and see Australia’s team, headed by Queenslander Ashleigh Barty, take on Belarus for a place in the final.

“This is great news for tennis fans across Queensland and Australia because it means even more elite tennis will be played right here in Brisbane – already home to the Brisbane International and from next year, the new ATP Cup,” Ms Jones said.

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“Tennis is loved by Queenslanders right across the state. The Brisbane International attracts tens of thousands of visitors and injects $10 million into the economy each year, so we expect the Fed Cup to be another strong driver of tourism for the state.

“Ash Barty is one of Queensland’s very top sportswomen so to get the chance to see her play some of the world’s best right here in Brisbane and attempt to secure Australia a spot in the Fed Cup final is not to be missed.

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“The Easter weekend is already one of the busiest of the year in terms of tourism so hosting the Fed Cup will give visitors another world-class experience to add to their itinerary.”

Brisbane City Council’s Finance and Economic Development Chairman Krista Adams said hosting the Fed Cup is another demonstration of the city’s support for women’s tennis.

“The Fed Cup semifinal will once again give tennis fans the chance to see some of the sport’s top female talent right here in Brisbane, and we look forward to welcoming Ash Barty back to our city,” Cr Adams said.

“Brisbane has a proud sporting culture and strong reputation for hosting major and significant events, which are worth more than $150 million annually to the local economy.”

Belarus is one of the world’s strongest Fed Cup nations featuring current players including world No.9 Aryna Sabalenka, two-time Grand Slam champion Victoria Azarenka and Brisbane International 2018 finalist Aliaksandra Sasnovich.

Fast facts:

  • The tie will mark the first meeting between Australia and Belarus.
  • Australia last reached the Fed Cup semifinals in 2014, losing 3-1 to Germany.
  • Australia is looking to earn a place in the Fed Cup World Group final for the first time since 1993.
  • Belarus has reached the semis for the last three years, with their best result reaching the final in 2017.

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