Barty draws high praise from Goolagong Cawley as she levels Cup semi

Evonne Goolagong Cawley was already a fan of Ashleigh Barty’s game but watching her hit a slice backhand has convinced the tennis great she can lead Australia to their first Fed Cup title in 45 years.

Goolagong Cawley was the spearhead when Australia last won the title in 1974 and she was in the crowd at Pat Rafter Arena on Saturday as Barty levelled their semi-final with a quality Belarus outfit 1-1.

‘The world’s her oyster’: Australia’s Fed Cup spearhead Ash Barty after defeating Victoria Azarenka on Saturday. Credit:AAP

Now No.9 in the world, Barty produced some fine tennis to beat former world No.1 and two-time Australian Open winner Victoria Azarenka 7-6 (7-2), 6-3 after Samantha Stosur lost the opener 7-5, 5-7, 6-3 to world No.10 Aryna Sabalenka.

Goolagong Cawley was gushing in her praise of the 22-year-old from Ipswich and made special mention of the slice backhand she used to pick apart a free-swinging Azarenka.


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