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Fed Cup: Brisbane to host Australia-Belarus semifinal

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BRISBANE, Australia — Australia will play its Fed Cup semifinal against Belarus on April 20-21 on hard courts at Pat Rafter Arena.

Brisbane-based Ash Barty led the Australian team to a 3-2 win over the United States in February at Asheville, North Carolina. She is also expected to be on the Australian team for the semifinal, where she should feel right at home.

The last time Australia reached the Fed Cup semifinals was in 2014, when it lost to Germany, also at Pat Rafter Arena.

Australia captain Alicia Molik on Thursday said: “The whole team, led by Ash, worked hard for the win over the USA and I can honestly say that … was one of the highlights of my career.”

France and Romania will meet in the other semifinal on clay at Rouen, France.

Top-seeded Barty withdraws from French Open warm-up event

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STRASBOURG, France (AP) Top-seeded Ashleigh Barty withdrew from the Internationaux de Strasbourg clay-court tournament on Tuesday because of a right arm injury.

Barty was replaced in the main draw by lucky loser Diana Marcinkevica.

The eighth-ranked Australian said she would not take any risk ahead of the French Open, which starts Sunday in Paris.

“I gave it my best chance, but unfortunately I wouldn’t be playing my best tennis,” Barty said. “I’m busy the next two months and I need to look after my body now.”

Wild-card entry Tipsarevic advances at Geneva Open

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GENEVA (AP) Former top-10 player Janko Tipsarevic used his wild-card entry to beat Peter Gojowczyk of Germany 7-5, 7-5 in the Geneva Open first round on Monday.

Now ranked No. 317, the 34-year-old Tipsarevic is back in ATP Tour main draws after missing the 2018 season for hamstring injuries to heal.

Fifth-seeded Radu Albot advanced to the second round on a day when two seeded players lost in the final week of clay-court warmups for the French Open.

Albot beat qualifier Lorenzo Sonego 7-6 (6), 7-6 (3), after 92nd-ranked Hugo Dellien beat eighth-seeded Andreas Seppi 6-1, 3-6, 6-4, and seventh-seeded Matthew Ebden lost to Nicolas Jarry of Chile 6-2, 7-6 (4).

Rain cut short play and gave former No. 3 Grigor Dimitrov a day off after playing through two qualifying rounds.

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