Fed Cup Final: Awesome Ash Barty draws Australia level against France

Camera IconAsh Barty of Australia in action during her singles match against Caroline Garcia of France in the 2019 Fed Cup Final tie.

"Having played her in Rome earlier this year, I know that she has the weapons to be able to make me uncomfortable", Barty said.

Barty on the other hand stayed composed, exactly what her team needed as they looked to recover from Ajla Tomljanovic's horror 6-1, 6-1 loss to Kristina Mladenovic.

She was broken in the first game and Mladenovic quickly turned the screws, racing to a 3-0 lead before a double-fault on break-point in game four allowed Tomljanovic a rare glimmer of hope.

Garcia struggled in the sweltering conditions with the temperature hitting near 40 degrees Celsius (104 Fahrenheit) on the opening day.

"She didn't leave me a lot of space".

She won 90% of points on her first serve, won 55 points to Garcia's 26 and converted six of a whopping 14 breakpoints. "I was disappointed with my performance". "I started my year here so it's a hell of a way to finish it off, too".

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Barty delivered a masterclass under pressure on Saturday, needing less than an hour to dispatch former world No.4 Garcia 6-0 6-0.

With Fed Cup veteran Sam Stosur overlooked for the singles, Molik's gamble backfired as Croatia-born Tomljanovic, who only became eligible to represent Australia a month ago, promptly crumbled under pressure.

But it counted for little in a match where the Australian held serve just once - in the second last game - and managed only two winners for the match compared to her opponent's 16.

"It's a tough task for Ajla playing straight away in the final", Mladenovic said after the match. "I was really in the zone".

Fresh from partnering Hungary's Timea Babos to take out the doubles title at last week's season-ending WTA Finals in Shenzhen, China, Mladenovic is set to pose a stern test for Barty. "It's really unique. You're not playing for yourself, you're playing for your country and teammates".

The roof may have been open, but it almost blew off when Barty hit the match-winning point, levelling the final and sending the majority of the 12,000 strong crowd home with smiles on their faces. Australia beat Belarus in the semifinals and France defeated Romania.

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