Ash Barty has thrust Australia into the semi-finals of the Fed Cup for the first time since 2014, after weathering serious pressure from the US.

Locked 1-1 heading into the final day in North Carolina, Barty needed to defeat American star Madison Keys to fire up her team.

Ranked 13th in the world, Barty faced a tough Keys in front of a vocal crowd and claimed a tight 6-4 6-1 victory.

Barty dropped the first three games of the match but broke her way back in, maintaining that momentum into the second set.

Later in the day, Australia needed to win a doubles match against Nicole Melichar and Danielle Collins to enter the semi-finals.

Barty combined with Priscilla Hon to claim a another tight victory 6-4 7-5, finishing off a healthy two days of competition, 3-2.

“It’s just an amazing feeling, the whole week, between our players, our staff, we couldn’t ask for more,” Australia captain Alicia Molik said.

Australia has won the Fed Cup seven times but hasn’t claimed the trophy since 1974.

Barty, who fielded questions throughout the Australian summer about how she was handling the pressure of being in the world’s top 20, said she was still just loving playing tennis.

“No pressure at all,” Barty told reporters.

“For me it is an opportunity to go out there and play for my country and enjoy the fact I have the privilege of putting on the green and gold and wearing Australia on my back.”

Australia will play Belarus in the semi-final.

The teams are yet to play each other in the Fed Cup so the location of the semi-final will be decided by a coin toss.

France will play Romania in the other semi-final.

By Keiran Deck