Ash Barty helped Australia make a strong comeback in the 2019 Fed Cup final after Kristina Mladenovic had given France a stunning lead.
World number Barty registered a crushing 6-0, 6-0 win over Caroline Garcia to make it 1-1 following Mladenovic’s equally convincing victory over Ajla Tomljanovic in the opening match.
Australia, who are playing in their first ever Fed Cup final in 26 years, were put on the backfoot after captain Alicia Molik’s decision to play Tomljanovic came undone early.
Despite serving four double-faults in the match, Mladenovic won 83% of her first serve points, as compared to her opponent’s 57%. What made the win even more impressive was the French player had nine break-points afforded to her of which she won six. Tomljanovic held just one service game and won another on Mladenovic’s serve, winning her only break point.
Interestingly, Tomljanovic had gone into the match with 2-0 record against Mladenovic on head to head but was no match to her opponent on the day.
On the other hand, Barty needed just 56 minutes to complete the formalities, having beaten Garcia earlier this year at Wuhan in three sets too.
Barty claimed she couldn’t have asked for a better finish to the season than she got. She said:
“This is remarkable. I couldn’t have asked for a more perfect match. I think that’s probably the best tennis match I’ve ever played in my life and what a place to do it – this is incredible and I’m so happy to be back here in Perth.”
“I started my year here so it’s a helluva a way to finish it off.”
The third match of the Fed Cup finals will see Barty take on Mladenovic with the match starting at 11 am local time (3 am BST), on November 10. This will be followed by the two losing players from day one, Garcia and Tomljanovic face off in the fourth rubber and if needed, the final match of the finals will see Barty combine with Stosur to take on Garcia and Mladenovic in the doubles.