WTA Tour: Fed Cup World Group Semi-Finals Preview

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The 2019 WTA Tour will see France will take on Romania and Australia square off against Belarus in the Fed Cup World Group Semi-Finals this weekend. Check out our full betting preview below.

2019 WTA Tour
Fed Cup World Group Semi-Finals
France vs Romania | Australia vs Belarus
20-21 April 2019

France (11/20) vs Romania (27/20)

France - (current world ranking)                       Romania - (current world ranking)
Caroline Garcia (21)                                                    Simona Halep (2)
Pauline Parmentier (53)                                             Mihaela Buzarescu (31)
Alize Cornet (54)                                                          Irina-Camelia Begu (82)
Kristina Mladenovic (63)                                            Monica Niculescu (133)
Fiona Ferro (108)                                                         Raluca Olaru (n/a)

France - Coached by Julien Benneteau
The French side will be entering this match against Romania as the underdogs. France has a rich Fed-Cup tradition, having won the event twice. If they were to progress to the final it would be their first appearance in the championship rubber since 2016: they lost to the all-conquering Czech Republic team of recent years. This is certainly not the most illustrious French team to ever grace this competition, with no players currently ranked inside the top 20. However, there is a wealth of experienced Fed-Cup players in their ranks. Caroline Garcia is the leader and will look to lead the way against Halep’s empowered Romanian unit. Kristina Mladenovic is a double’s specialist and will look to anchor that aspect of the side. France will draw confidence from their recent Fed-Cup home form, having won six of eight home ties dating back to 2013.

Romania - Coached by Floria Segarceanu
Simona Halep has stated that one of her chief goals this season is to claim the Fed-Cup title with Romania. That was more than evident with her ecstatic celebrations when Begu and Niculescu bat their Czech opponents in the last round. This is now their joint best Fed-Cup tie, matching their 1973 semi-final. Halep seems to have drawn inspiration from manager Virginia Ruzici, who was both a member of that 1973 side and a fellow Roland Garros Champion. Halep boasts a Fed-Cup record of 20-9 and clearly, she will prove pivotal to this Romanian side. Mihaela Buzarescu is also a strong competitor and will prove an extremely durable opponent in these clay conditions. Irina-Camelia Begu and Monica Niculescu have proved an inspired double’s paring and will need to be in top form against a French side featuring Kristina Mladenovic.

Prediction: Romania (27/20)
I just think that Halep’s determination to win this event - refreshing in an era of selfish individualism - will power Romania to the victory. 

Australia (8/10) vs Belarus (9/10)

Australia - (current world ranking)                    Belarus - (current world ranking)
Ashleigh Barty (9)                                                             Aryna Sabalenka (10)
Daria Gavrilova (58)                                                         Aliaksandra Sasnovich (35)
Samantha Stosur (73)                                                      Victoria Azarenka (60)
Priscila Hon (130)                                                             Vera Lapko (65)
Australia - Coached by Alicia Molik
The Aussie Fed Cup side was once a dominant force in women’s tennis, claiming seven Fed-Cup titles in their illustrious history. But recent times haven’t been so easy for an Australian side that hasn’t competed in the World Group since 2015. If they were to move past this plucky Belarusian side ti would actually be their first appearance in the Fed-Cup Final since 1993. Ashleigh Barty is currently one of the hottest properties in women’s tennis, with a phenomenal victory at the Miami Open underlining a remarkable resurgence in form for a former top prospect. She also has an imposing 14/2 record in Fed-Cup competition. She will lead the side alongside Croatia born Daria Gavrilova. Sam Stosur is clearly the mother hen of the group. The former US Open Champion has also enjoyed a hugely successful year, claiming a brilliant Aussie Open women’s title alongside Zhang Shuai. She will be crucial to their double’s campaign and hopes of victory.

Belarus - Coached by Tatiana Poutchek
Belarus are competing in the World Group for the 3rd straight year and will be looking for at least a repeat of their glory ridden campaign of 2017. They managed to defy all expectations in that run to the 2017 final. Aliaksandra Sasnovich and Aryna Sabalenka propelled them to the final with surprise victories over the Netherlands and Switzerland, despite the fact that neither one of them was ranked inside the top 75 of the world’s rankings. Sabalenka will lead the team and comes off being voted the WTA Newcomer of the year in 2018. She actually beat Barty twice last season, which may seem to give this side a slight advantage. Two-time Grand Slam Champion Victoria Azarenka has been improving steadily of late following years of injury issues and domestic turmoil. She reached the Monterrey final a few weeks back but had to withdraw due to injury.

Prediction: Australia (8/10)
I think that the Australian team has the edge. Clearly, they will enjoy fiercely partisan support, but it’s the combination of Barty’s brilliance and Stosur’s experience that should see this team through to the final.

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