Fed Cup: Ashleigh Barty to face Caroline Garcia in singles rubbers

Tanya Simon
November 9, 2019

Brittany interned at Rugby Magazine and the Australian Rugby Union before joining ESPN.

France captain Julien Benneteau has kept faith with the team who sealed their semi-final win over Romania, with Mladenovic, ranked 40, and 45th-ranked Garcia shouldering the burden again in Perth.

The seven-time champions have not tasted success in the tournament since 1974, while France are aiming for a third crown and first since 2003.

Australia has won the Fed Cup title on seven occasions, but the last triumph for the Aussies was almost 45 years ago. Ending a 45-year drought would be a dream ending of Barty's 2019 campaign.

Barty comes into the decider in red hot form, winning the WTA Final in China last weekend, and she has made clear her season will only be complete if she can steer her country to Fed Cup glory.

"This was a week that I earmarked earlier in the year", Barty told media.

"But for sure, I have a lot of options for singles and doubles".

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World No. 1 Ash Barty will take pleasure in Caroline Garcia of France within the Fed Cup final though Ajla Tomljanovic will make her debut for Australia having fun with the opening singles match Saturday versus Kristina Mladenovic.

Mladenovic outplayed Barty 6-2 6-3 in Rome before Barty went on winning spree that also saw her win the French Open, her first major title.

In contrast, Tomljanovic has had a good year and spent most of it inside the world's top 50.

"All of us are extremely hungry - it's taken us probably two or three years to get into this position and now it's about coming out and enjoying it this weekend".

Now unbeaten with a 6-0 record for rubbers this year, she became the first player to contest and win the maximum number of matches on the way to the Fed Cup Final in the competition's current format, having claimed clean sweeps during Australia's victories against U.S. and Belarus earlier this year.

After such a memorable year and with a chance to add her name to further Australian tennis history, this is a weekend Barty will treasure. "These are the weeks that I love - these are the weeks that I cherish", she said.

"It is an fantastic achievement to be involved in a Fed Cup final, but we don't just want to make the final", Barty said.

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