Queenslander Ash Barty is set to return to her home state as she lines up for Australia in their Fed Cup semifinal against Belarus.
Pat Rafter Arena in Brisbane was last week announced as the hosting venue for the clash.
For Barty, who is the world No.12, it will be her first time playing in front of her home state crowd since the 2018 Brisbane International and she can't wait to don the green and gold.
“Getting to play in Brisbane is amazing. For me this is my backyard, it’s unreal, when we learned we had a home tie straight away I said to Mol [Alicia Molik], I’d love to have it in Brisbane,” she said.
“The last time we played here was a semifinal against Germany and we’ve played against the USA here but it’s really exciting to get to come back."
It is the first time since 2014 that Australia has reached the semifinals of the World Group and the last time they did make it, the tie was held in Brisbane. The Ipswich-born star played and won the doubles rubber alongside Casey Dellacqua in that tie against Germany.
Although, the doubles rubber wasn't going to change the outcome as Andrea Petkovic and Angelique Kerber dominated in their singles and reverse singles rubber to clinch the victory.
After beating 2018 Fed Cup runners-up the United States 3-2 last month in North Carolina, Team Australia is in high spirits.
“The feeling around the girls is really good, it’s a great team and we have some really nice memories off the back of our last win, it was certainly nice to have some fellow Queenslanders in the team last tie and I hope we bring that fight into our home semi," Barty said.
“I’m hoping we can have a lot of Aussie fans and kids in the crowd supporting us on Easter weekend. We would love to have an absolutely packed Pat Rafter Arena, it’s a beautiful court, especially at that time of the year it will be gorgeous conditions."
Belarus is one of the world’s strongest Fed Cup nations and features world No. 9 Aryna Sabalenka, two-time Grand Slam champion Victoria Azarenka and Brisbane International 2018 finalist Aliaksandra Sasnovich.
The team knockout Germany in the quarterfinals with a resounding 4-0 win to set up their first meeting against Australia.
“The Belarusian’s are a world class team and we’re really going to have our work cut out for us," Barty said.
“It’ll be a good battle so hopefully people coming into Brisbane or staying around for the Easter weekend come out and support a really good weekend of tennis,” Barty continued.
Australia is looking to earn a place in the Fed Cup World Group final for the first time since 1993 while Belarus will be looking for their second final in three years.