Facebook Social Button Twitter Social Button Follow Us on InstagramYouTube Social Button
NewsScoresRankingsLucky Letcord PodcastShopPro GearPickleballGear Sale

By Alberto Amalfi | Tuesday, November 8, 2016


French Open doubles champions Caroline Garcia and Kristina Mladenovic will try to lead France to its first Fed Cup championship in 13 years this weekend.

Photo credit: Corinne Dubreuil/Fed Cup

Reigning Roland Garros doubles champions Caroline Garcia and Kristina Mladenovic have carried France on their back to its first Fed Cup final since 2005.

France has been doing some heavy lifting during team workouts ahead of this weekend's final against two-time defending champion Czech Republic at the Rhenus Sport arena in Strasbourg.

Watch: Kvitova Claims 19th Career Title

The world No. 2 doubles team of Garcia and Mladenovic, who have combined to play all 10 of France's Fed Cup matches this season, will be joined by 46th-ranked Alize Cornet and 73rd-ranked Pauline Parmentier.

Les Bleues will try to hoist its first Fed Cup championship since 2003 when Amélie Mauresmo and Mary Pierce led France to a 4-1 victory over a United States squad comprised of Meghann Shaughnessy, Lisa Raymond, Martina Navratilova and Alexandra Stevenson.

That final was staged in Moscow. This weekend, France will play for its third Fed Cup championship and first on home soil.

The champion Czechs have been a dynamic team on all surfaces.

A trio of Top 21-ranked players—two-time Wimbledon winner Petra Kvitova, US Open finalist Karolina Pliskova, world No. 21 Barbora Strycova—and veteran doubles specialist Lucie Hradecka lead captain Petr Pala's team, which is playing for its 10th Fed Cup championship.

The 11th-ranked Kvitova has won 16 of her last 18 matches, including title runs in Wuhan, where she beat five Top 20 players, including world No. 1 Angelique Kerber, in succession and in Zhuhai last weekend.

Pliskova and Hradecka defeated Hall of Famer Martina Hingis and Viktorija Golubic, 6-2, 6-2, to seal the Czech Republic's 3-2 semifinal victory over host Switzerland last April.

"It's going to be a very interesting and exciting tie," Mladenovic said. "Just thinking about it I'm already having goose bumps."

French captain Mauresmo and team trainer Xavier Moreau put the players through their training paces during this team work-out.

The defending champion Czech Republic is bidding to become the first team to collected three consecutive Fed Cup championships since Arantxa Sanchez Vicario and Conchita Martinez led Spain to three in a row from 1993-95.

"To win, we need to play better than well," Pala told Fed "We need the quality and form of our players to be there. If all our girls play well, and the way they're capable of playing, then it will give us a chance."

The sixth-ranked Pliskova has split two career meetings with Garcia with both of those matches going the three-set distance. Kvitova has beaten Garcia in two of their three meetings, including a 6-4, 6-4 sweep on the Ostrava hard court in their 2015 Fed Cup clash.

Kvitova is 3-1 lifetime against Mladenovic, including a straight-sets sweep in Ostrava last year. Mladenovic and Pliskova split their two singles meetings.

If the Czechs pull off the rare three-peat they will join 17-time champion United States as only the second nation in history to win double digit Fed Cup championships.


Latest News