High flying weekend as Australia reach Fed Cup final
23 April 2019
TENNIS: The red-hot Ash Barty and Sam Stosur teamed up to defeat Belarus in the deciding doubles match of the Fed Cup semifinal to send Australia to the final for the first time since 1993.
The score was level after two days of the semifinal, split 2-2 after the four singles matches, setting up a winner-takes-all doubles match.
First-time partners Barty and Stosur defeated Victoria Azarenka and Aryna Sabalenka 7-5 3-6 6-2 in front of a boisterous crowd at Pat Rafter Arena in Brisbane.
Australia last won the Fed Cup in 1974 when they defeated the United States - none of the players competing on this year’s team, including captain Alicia Molik, were even born when Australia last won.
This continued a fantastic tournament for Ash Barty, who finished the weekend 3-0 after winning her two singles matches during the previous two days. She became the first player to win six straight Fed Cup ties after she won all three of her matches against the United States in February.
SAILING: The Hempel World Cup Series in Genoa took place over the weekend where Australian brothers David and Lachy Gilmour sailed their best-ever race on the international stage, winning gold in the 49ers class.
The brothers teamed up in September 2018 for their best chance at qualifying for Tokyo 2020, and they are impressed with the way their partnership is taking shape.
This World Cup Series was also successful for young Australians Jock Calvert and Mara Stransky, who placed sixth in the Finn Medal Race and Laser Radial Medal Race respectively.
Read more about how the Australian Saling Team performed over the weekend HERE.
BMX: Brandon Loupos successfully defended his championship title at FISE Hiroshima over the weekend, with fellow Aussie Logan Martin winning bronze at the BMX Freestyle World Cup Final.
Loupos came out strong on his first run, but a fall after his first trick forced him to call time on it. Loupos made a comeback on his second run where he stood out with a routine packed with tricks including a 1080 and double backflip. This landed him a score of 95.80, over three points ahead of Japanese silver medallist Rim Nakamura.
Martin also gave a solid performance after he scored 91.10 points on his first round and earning him third place. He was aiming to improve his score on his second attempt, but unfortunately slipped a pedal, leaving him to depend on his first score.
SURFING: The Pro Bells Beach began last week and the Aussies have a strong representation as usual, with 11 men and 6 women qualifying for the knock-out rounds of the tournament.
The men have had an impressive showing so far, with Jacob Wilcox winning his Seeding Round heat with the highest score of the round at 13.74 and Julian Wilson finishing directly behind him with a score of 13.73. Ryan Callinan also had an impressive round earning a score of 13 flat, and Ricardo Christie finishing top of his heat with an 11.83 score.
On the women’s side of the draw, Stephanie Gilmore had an outstanding Seeding Round, remaining patient within the inconsistent swell to come from behind finishing with a score of 15.5. As the defending champion at Bells Beach, Gilmore will have her sights on winning the famous bell again this year as she competes for a record-braking 8th world championship.
Other notable performances during the Seeding Round included Sally Fitzgibbons finishing with a score of 13.16 and Nikki Van Dijk finishing first in her heat with 12.66 - both proceed into the Round of 16.
The tournament is set to continue on 24 April, subject to the wave conditions.
TABLE TENNIS: The 2019 ITTF World Championships in Budapest started on Sunday with Aussie Olympian Heming Hu proceeding through the group stages with a 4-0 victory, taking out Brian Chan from Mauritius. Hu will take on Belarus’s Vladmir Samsonov this evening (Tuesday 23 April).