Fed Cup: Ashleigh Barty to face Caroline Garcia in singles rubbers

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

Tennis' elite women's players, including world number one and fan-favourite, Australia's Ashleigh Barty, have been welcomed to Perth ahead of this weekend's clash between France and Australia, for the final of the 2019 Fed Cup by BNP Paribas Final.

French Open champion Barty and former US Open victor Stosur played all the singles and doubles in their semi-final win over Belarus, but Stosur said captain Alicia Molik had yet to indicate if the same tactic would be deployed.

Four of the seven came from when Margaret Court dominated the game, with the 24-time Grand Slam champion claiming all 20 of her Fed Cup matches.

Australia will aim to secure their first Fed Cup title since 1974 when they host France in the final in Perth this weekend.

"I know that I've got Mol [Alicia Molik] sitting on the court next to me in such a supportive and incredible captain and I think that knowing that all of our team is sitting on the side of the court it just brings out this little bit of a different side to me and it's pretty rare and it doesn't happen often".

The enthusiastic response puts Perth on track to set a new attendance record for an Australian Fed Cup tie, with ticket sales now more than double the previous attendance record of 9,554 set in April at the Fed Cup semi-final against Belarus in Brisbane. It has been hard, sets have been very close and that's really the way that we want it.

"I have five very good players who are ready to go, but for me and my staff the best options are Caroline and Kristina", he said. "We have full confidence in them to bring us two points (on Saturday)".

Mladenovic outplayed Barty 6-2 6-3 in Rome before Barty went on winning spree that also saw her win the French Open, her first major title.

World No.1 and WTA Finals champion Ashleigh Barty has had a fantastic 2019 season and is upbeat about the upcoming Fed Cup final against France.

Should she win 2 singles matches, she will become the 10th player to complete a flawless year in Fed Cup singles since 1995.

They say TA always intended marking the occasion and this should have been obvious to Court when they sent a film crew to Perth to interview her earlier this year. "We have nothing to lose".

The finale marks the last Fed Cup played under the current format, with an overhaul next year seeing 12 nations compete in a six-day event in Budapest.

"That final was a great lesson for me and all of us", said Garcia, who won two singles matches in the tie.

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