Thursday, 21 November, 2019

Barty ‘hungry for Fed Cup final win

Sam Stosur Ashleigh Barty Caroline Garcia and Kristina Mladenovic Australia are bidding for their eighth Fed Cup while France going for a third after last winning the team tournament in 2003
Cary Erickson | 09 November, 2019, 20:20

World number one Barty will meet 40th-ranked Mladenovic in the opener of the reverse singles on Sunday, with Tomljanovic to play world number 45 Garcia.

Australia are aiming to win an 8th Fed Cup title this weekend in their first appearance in the Final for 26 years while France will be looking to win their 3rd Fed Cup title - and their first for 16 years, with their 2 previous titles coming in 1997, when they defeated Netherlands, and 2003, when they defeated USA. "I've got someone sitting next to me right here [Sam Stosur] who has done that for so many years and has been at the very top of our sport. For us it was a matter of match-ups and I feel like we are going in with our strongest two players for Saturday", said Molik. It has been hard, sets have been very close and that's really the way that we want it.

She will hope to end Australia's run of eight consecutive defeats in Fed Cup finals since they won the competition for the seventh time back in 1974. "We have full confidence in them to bring us two points (on Saturday)".

Barty, who won her first Grand Slam title at the French Open, is on a 14-match unbeaten streak in the event.

Each equally Barty, who gained final weekend's WTA Finals in China, and Stosur and Mladenovic/Garcia acquired a few-established dwell fifth doubles matches in April's semifinals to ship their worldwide locations to the last word.

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Laurent Koscielny was captain during the summer, before refusing to join the team for their pre-season tour of America. Xhaka was claimed to have sworn at Gunners supporters, before ripping off his shirt and storming down the tunnel.

"We know that during a Fed Cup weekend there are a lot of emotions and physically tough matches, so we know we have a lot of options for Sunday", he added.

While Tomljanovic is Australia's second-highest ranked female player behind Barty, her selection is still something of a leap of faith given the highly-experienced Stosur boasts the most singles wins for Australia in Fed Cup history. "These are the weeks that I love - these are the weeks that I cherish", she said. "We have nothing to lose".

"I think it's only a chance to improve and we have to go for it from the first match until the last one".

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 US and Belarus earlier this year.