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Gavrilova leads Australia to Fed Cup victory

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Daria Gavrilova has led Australia to victory in the Fed Cup by BNP Paribas World Group II Play-off, defeating Nina Stojanovic 6-0 6-3 in the third rubber of the tie in Zrenjanin, Serbia.

The celebrations were put on hold as Ashleigh Barty teamed with Casey Dellacqua to defeat Stojanovic and Jovovic 6-1 7-5 in the dead doubles rubber, Australia taking the tie 4-0.

Gavrilova was pumped to win her first Fed Cup matches and secure the tie for Australia.

“It’s very special, I was desperate to win my first Fed Cup match yesterday, and then to seal the win for Australia with my match today. It’s an incredible feeling,” Gavrilova said.

“Fed Cup weeks are some of my favourite weeks of the year, I love my team and we all support each other. I love putting on the green and gold and representing my country.”

“I’m incredibly proud of the whole team, they’ve all worked so hard this week and to come away with such a strong result makes it all very rewarding,” Australia’s Fed Cup captain Alicia Molik said.

“I can’t emphasise enough how significant it is for Dash to have her first Fed Cup win, and how important that will be for her for the rest of the season. She’ll take a lot of confidence away from these wins, and I know they will be memories she’ll always treasure. Ash also showed the signs of a true champion, lifting in the most critical moments of her match yesterday. Only great players can step up  at the right time and Ash has that ability.

“The doubles today was also an indication of the culture in our team, and I was very proud of how Ash and Casey teamed to play the match – there was nothing in the way they competed to indicate that this was a dead rubber. They fought for every point and exemplified the way our Australian Fed Cup team plays.

“It’s also been tremendous to have Destanee (Aiava) and Jaimee (Fourlis) here this week. They’ve both been brilliant team players and are very much part of our Fed Cup future, which is looking extremely bright,” Molik continued.

Yesterday Ashleigh Barty opened Australia’s campaign with a strong 6-4 6-3 win over Serbia’s No.1 player, Aleksandra Krunic.

“I was so excited to have the chance to lead the team in the opening match, to stay on the court and play straight after the national anthem, it was an awesome experience,” said Barty who celebrates her 21st birthday on Monday. “Even through it was a dead rubber in the doubles today, it was fantastic to get out on court with Casey and get the win.”

Australia now retains its position in the elite top16 of the world’s largest women’s team competition. A proposed format change to Fed Cup next year, which would combine the top eight World Group I and eight World Group II teams, means Australia would have the chance to play off for the title in 2018.  The official draw for 2018 will take place in London on 20 September.

Fed Cup World Group II Play-off – Serbia vs Australia

Day one

Ashleigh Barty def Aleksandra Krunic 6-4 6-3

Daria Gavrilova def Ivana Jorovic 6-2 6-2

Day two

Daria Gavrilova def Nina Stojanovic 6-0 6-3

Ashleigh Barty & Casey Dellacqua def Ivana Jorovic & Nina Stojanovic 6-1 7-5

The fifth rubber was not played.