Fed Cup Final Preview: Australia vs France
The *Aussie* girls are back in town!
This victory could be 45 years in the making. Australia are looking to take out their first Fed Cup in almost 50 years when they take on the French in Perth starting tomorrow. You can catch all the action live on Kayo here. Australia heads into the tie as $1.55 favourites over the underdogs, France, who are listed at $2.45.
In their first finals appearance since 1993, Australia will be lead by world no. 1 and recent WTA Finals winner, Ash Barty. She’s in the form of her career off the back of collecting a cool $6.4 million (AUD) in Shenzhen last week. Australia’s golden girl has had a truly remarkable 2019 – with the most wins on tour (56), most top 10 wins (12), her first Grand Slam title (Roland Garros), a WTA Finals title and the Year Ending No. 1 ranking.
Yeah. Bit much, really. Setting the bar real high, Ash.
Ash will suit up in singles and doubles, as she partners veteran, Sam Stosur, on the dubs side of things. Ash made a name for herself on the doubles court prior to her singles achievements, and Sam has hit a rich vein of form in 2019, with a Grand Slam victory (Australian Open) starting off a year that culminated in an appearance at the WTA Doubles Finals. The Aussie team looks formidable, to say the least. Sam was overlooked for the 2nd singles spot, mainly due to losing both matches in the semi-final tie against Belarus.
This was coupled with the fact that Australia’s no. 2 ranked woman, Ajla Tomjlanovic, only recently became eligible to represent Australia, Tomljanovic will play a leading role in the hosts’ bid to claim their first Fed Cup title in 45 years. Ajla said “Saturday’s going to probably be the highlight of my year and my career so far. I think the most confidence I draw from this week is my teammates. They’ve been here for me this whole week in practice.” A native of Croatia, Tomjlanovic takes on French no. 1, Kristina Kristina Mladenovic, in singles tomorrow. They share a common thread in life, with the pairs fathers having played against each other in professional handball.
But Mladenovic and Garcia are formidable opponents. Mladenovic was on site to watch as Barty won last week’s season-ending WTA Finals in Shenzhen, China, where the top seed took out the singles title and the Frenchwoman partnered with Hungary’s Timea Babos to win the doubles. Mladenovic & Garcia sit at no. 40 & 45 in the WTA rankings respectively, and will also pose a significant threat in the deciding doubles rubber.
Ultimately, we think Ash will be too strong for both her singles opponents, Ajla will be able to oust one of her opponents due to her aggressive mindset, and Australia will win the doubles.
Prediction: Australia 4 – 1 France
Fed Cup Final Draw
Saturday from 1pm AEST Time
Tomljanovic (AUS) v Mladenovic (FRA)
Barty (AUS) v Garcia (FRA)
Sunday from 1pm AEST Time
Barty v Mladenovic
Tomljanovic v Garcia
Barty/Stosur v Garcia/Mladenovic.