MELBOURNE (Reuters) – 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.
“It’s lots of emotions to share this with Caroline after three years ago (when) we failed on the last step of the tie,” Mladenovic said courtside.
“Today we just wanted to take this little re-match for ourselves. It’s just not describable how we feel.”
Mladenovic was key to France’s triumph, unbeaten in her three rubbers and having come back…
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