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By Tennis Now | Sunday, November 10, 2019

Kristina Mladenovic

Kristina Mladenovic edged world No. 1 Ash Barty then partnered Caroline Garcia to win the decisive doubles lifting France to a 3-2 win over host Australia in the Fed Cup final.

Photo credit: Mark Peterson/Corleve

Kristina Mladenovic met pressure with major passion propelling France to its first Fed Cup championship since 2003.

In a masterful performance of poise and power, Mladenovic accounted for all three points carrying France to a 3-2 victory over host Australia in a pulsating Fed Cup final at Perth's RAC Arena.

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The French No. 1 partnered Caroline Garcia defeating world No. 1 Ashleigh Barty and Samantha Stosur 6-4, 6-3 in the decisive doubles match to clinch France's third Fed Cup championship and ignite a joyous celebration.

Mladenovic, who opened the weekend crushing Ajla Tomljanovic 6-1, 6-1, staked France to a 2-1 lead stunning the top-ranked Barty in today's first reverse singles match to set the stage for the crucial doubles triumph.

The victory was redemption for the 2016 French Open doubles champions. 

Three years ago, Mladenovic and Garcia suffered a gut-wrenching 7-5, 7-5 defeat to Karolina Pliskova and Barbora Strycova in the decisive doubles match as the Czech Republic topped host France 3-2 in the Fed Cup final in Strasbourg. 

Given another shot at the Cup today, the French pair was not denied.

"It’s lots of emotions to share this with Caro after three years ago we failed on the last step of the tie," Mladenovic said. "Today we just wanted to play for a little revenge for ourselves, and it’s just not describable how we feel right now."

Kristna Mladenovic
Photo credit: Mark Peterson/Corleve

The French pair dropped serve to open the match, but broke back for 2-all. Garcia and Mladenovic ran off eight of the last 10 points breaking in the last game to take a one-set lead. 

Mladenovic and Garcia broke in the second game of the second set then denied three break points to back up the break for 3-0.

The Aussies saved two championship points holding for 3-5 before Mladenovic and Garcia converted their third championship point to seal a dramatic victory.

The 26-year-old Mladenovic opened today's play fighting off world No. 1 Barty in a gripping 2-6, 6-4, 7-6 (1) triumph to stake France to a 2-1 lead. 

Mladenovic snapped Barty's 10-match Fed Cup winning streak handing the Roland Garros champion her first Fed Cup singles loss since she bowed to Elina Svitolina in the 2017 quarterfinals.

Kristna Mladenovic
Photo credit: Mark Peterson/Corleve

Barty fired 20 of her 22 winners from her forehand and slashed eight aces.

The WTA Finals champion saved three break points holding for a 6-5 lead before Mladenovic stamped a love hold to force the final-set tie break.

The 6' Frenchwoman dominated the breaker rolling through six straight points to stake France to a 2-1 lead.

Ajla Tomljanovic
Photo credit: Mark Peterson/Corleve

Australian captain Alicia Molik stuck with Tomljanovic, who looked skittish on opening day, and was rewarded for her faith.

Playing her first Fed Cup tie since 2011, Tomljanovic hit seven aces and saved three of four break points topping Pauline Parmentier 6-4, 7-5.

Tomljanovic's 92-minute victory fired up the faithful green-and-gold fans in the crowd of 13,841 and leveled the final setting the stage for the decisive doubles.

Kristna Mladenovic
Photo credit: Mark Peterson/Corleve

Mladenovic and Garcia, who suffered a humbling double-bagel thrashing at the hands of Barty yesterday, kept calm to eradicate the ghosts of their 2016 final failing.

"I’m not sure I’ve completely realized, because it’s been a crazy weekend for everyone," Garcia said. "The doubles went very fast, but we played every point so focused, and we played a great match and it was very tense."

The pair fired France to its first Fed Cup championship since Amelie Mauresmo and Mary Pierce led Les Bleus to a 4-1 victory over the United States in the 2003 final.


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