CANBERRA, February 9, 2018
World No.16 Ashleigh Barty will lead Australia into Fed Cup battle this weekend, playing the first match against Ukraine’s Lyudmyla Kichenok of the Fed Cup by BNP Paribas World Group II First Round tie on Saturday.
Aussie No.2 Daria Gavrilova will play second, matching up against Ukraine’s young gun, 15 year-old Marta Kostyuk. Kostyuk made her main draw, tour-level debut at this year’s Australian Open. Having received a wildcard-entry into the qualifying tournament, she defeated Arina Rodionova, Daniela Seguel and Barbora Krejčíková to become the first player born in 2002 to play in a Grand Slam main draw. The teenager eventually fell in the third round to No. 4 seed Elina Svitolina.
The draw was determined in a beautiful setting at the National Gallery of Australia, with some of Australia’s top juniors competing in a volley challenge to decide the order of play for the weekend.
The reverse singles will be played on Sunday, with Barty facing Ukraine No.1 Kostyuk, followed by Gavrilova against L. Kichenok. In doubles Australia will be represented by Ashleigh Barty / Casey Dellacqua who will take on Ukraine pair Nadiia Kichenok / Dasha Lopatetskaya (UKR).
— TennisAustralia (@TennisAustralia) 9. Februar 2018
Canberra, Australia’s capital city, will host the fifth meeting between Ukraine and Australia in Fed Cup, and the second in as many years after Ukraine won their most recent encounter 3-1 in the 2017 World Group II first round in Kharkiv.
Ukraine has won three of the previous four meetings between the two nations, with Australia’s only triumph coming in Kharkiv in 2010. This will be the first meeting between the two nations on grass.
Australia is mounting a strong campaign and eyeing a return to the elite top eight World Group for the first time since 2015. Ukraine is seeking to end a longer wait, having last featured in the competition’s top tier in 2012.