Fabulous France Defeat Australia for Fed Cup Title
France emerged teary-eyed and triumphant from a weekend of grit and inspiration to claim their first Fed Cup title in 16 years with a 3-2 win on Sunday over hosts Australia.
Kristina Mladenovic and Caroline Garcia combined for the decisive point, grinding down Ash Barty and Sam Stosur 6-4 6-3 in the doubles to seal France’s third title in the team event and leave a heaving crowd of 13,842 at Perth Arena deflated.
Edged out 3-2 on home soil by the Czech Republic in the 2016 decider, Mladenovic and Garcia were resolved to avoid a repeat of that heartbreak, and they played fearlessly on the blue hardcourt.
Mladenovic was key to France’s triumph, unbeaten in her three rubbers and having come back from a set down to stun world number one Barty in the reverse singles earlier in the day.
Paired with the French number one, Garcia put her 6-0 6-0 humiliation by Barty in the Saturday singles behind her and proved a menace for Australia throughout the doubles decider.
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