Margaret Court furore in Fed Cup spotlight News

Chris Evert Tennis

World number one Ash Barty will look to crown her annus mirabilis by helping Australia to their first Fed Cup title in 45 years when she leads the host nation in the final against France in Perth this weekend. The way that Mol [team captain Alicia Molik] has been able to bring us together and create this real want and desire to play for Australia has been crucial.

"I think Australians in general, we have such a rich history across our sport and I'm just trying to do the best that I can, just to do what I do, I'm very lucky and very privileged to have the year that I've had and we're really looking forward to finishing off as a team, all of our 2019 seasons".

"When you play a Fed Cup final with the number one in the world in the other side, and away, you can not say that you have an advantage", Benneteau said.

Croatia-born Tomljanovic is no stranger to her French opponent - the pair rose through the ranks together and their fathers played each other in professional handball.

Yet she has also proved to be a superb team player throughout the Fed Cup campaign and enters the decider unbeaten in nine singles rubbers dating back to 2017.

The omens don't bode well - Australia have lost the last eight Fed Cup finals they have contested since winning their last one in 1974. "We have to go for it from the first match to the last one".

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With the most wins on tour (56), most top 10 wins (12), her first Grand Slam title, a WTA Finals title and the No. 1 ranking, Barty has easily been the standout Australian female performer in over a decade.

The two singles matches will then be swapped on Sunday, with Barty to play Mladenovic and Tomljanovic to take on Garcia. But despite the titles and wins coming her way, the 23-year-old was quick to brush off any accolades.

Australia's No. 1 female player between 2008 and 2017, Stosur has ridden the highs and lows of global tennis on her way to one Grand Slam title and six doubles crowns, but in a career that never quite reached the heights it promised, a Fed Cup victory would be the ideal send off.

Australia has performed France 6 occasions in Fed Cup historic previous and has a 5-one edge, however misplaced when the groups final performed in France in 2000. Stosur won the 2011 U.S. Open and was once ranked No. 4 in singles, but has fallen to No. 96 and often doesn't play well before home crowds.

World No. 1 Ashleigh Barty will step on court on Saturday with the chance to cap off her remarkable year by leading Australia to their first Fed Cup title since Evonne Goolagong Cawley in 1974.

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