This result may have come as a shock to the wider world, not least Switzerland, but it will be no surprise to anyone who has witnessed the emerging force that is Belarusian women’s tennis at close hand. And to think that the country, which only started playing Fed Cup by BNP Paribas in 1994, has reached its first Final without the services of its former world No. 1 Victoria Azarenka.
Everyone had better get used to the idea that its two young singles players, Aliaksandra Sasnovich and Aryna Sabalenka, are here to stay. With or without Azarenka in the Final Eduard Dubrou’s team is ready to take the ultimate prize come November no matter against whom or where it plays.
They are nothing if not fearless and refreshing, none more so than the 18-year-old Sabalenka who crushes every ball as if there is an extra point awarded for power. Built like an Amazon with strong square shoulders, she steadfastly refuses to rein it in and perhaps if she did she wouldn’t be the same player or on the end of a 63 26 64 win against Viktorija Golubic that clinched this semifinal victory.
She is capable of the odd moment of finesse, but they are few and far between. While that sort of style might have its limitations in tournament play it makes for an extraordinarily difficult tactic to control in the more emotional environment of Fed Cup play.
No doubt the Belarusian fans