Tennis

Australia beat Netherlands to return to World Group

Wollongong – Daria Gavrilova put Australia back into the World Group of the Fed Cup with victory over Quirine Lemoine of the Netherlands in Wollongong on Sunday.

The 24th-ranked Gavrilova, who replaced Saturday's losing team-mate Samantha Stosur, beat the 295th-ranked Lemoine 6-3, 6-2 in the fourth singles to give Australia an unassailable 3-1 lead.

"It feels amazing, I was super nervous. Just playing for your country is so much harder than playing in a normal tournament and I'm so thankful for the home support," Gavrilova said on court.

Australia's number one and 19th-ranked Ashleigh Barty had set up the victory with her second convincing win of the weekend, downing Lesley Kerkhove 6-4, 6-2 in the third singles rubber.

Gavrilova later teamed with Destanee Aiava to win the dead doubles rubber, 6-3, 6-2 over Demi Schuuers and Kerkhove to complete a 4-1 win.

Australia were last in the elite group of the Fed Cup in 2015, while the Netherlands were trying to prolong their three-year stay in the top tier.

Original Article

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