Tomljanovic to play Fed Cup final singles

SHENZHEN CHINA- NOVEMBER 04  Kristina Mladenovic of France Timea Babos of Hungary and Ashleigh Barty of Australia pose with the Martina Navratilova trophy and Billie Jean King trophy respectively following their victories in the Women's Dou

Tomljanovic to face Mladenovic first in Fed Cup final

Barty will then face world No.45 Caroline Garcia as Australia chase their eights Fed Cup title and first in 45 years.

"I don't think anything out there or anything in the media, any particular headline, can really distract us from what we're trying to achieve this weekend".

Tomljanovic and Mladenovic know each other well - the pair rose through the junior ranks in Europe together and their fathers played each other in professional handball.

Australia's No. 1 female player between 2008 and 2017, Stosur has ridden the highs and lows of worldwide 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 flawless send off.

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 final is being played on hard outdoor courts at Perth Arena.

"Saturday's going to be probably the highlight of my year and my career so far", she said.

"Everyone's been really encouraging so I'm definitely drawing from that the most".

"We're the same age and we grew up together playing the same tournaments, so I think there will be no secrets tomorrow", Tomljanovic said. Should she win 3 matches this weekend - as she did in both the World Group first round and semifinals this year - she will become the first player to win the maximum possible number of Fed Cup matches in a year (9) since the current format was adopted in 1995. It has been hard, sets have been very close and that's really the way that we want it.

Molik's decision was likely swayed by Tomjlanovic's impressive 2-0 record against Mladenovic, despite the Queenslander being yet to win a WTA title, one less than her opponent.

Australian players including Samantha Stosur spoke out against the Pentecostal minister after her personal attack on openly gay player Casey Dellacqua and her partner Ashley Judd. "We have to go for it from the first match to the last one".

Spearheaded by French Open champion Barty, Australia will start warm favourites to claim a drought-breaking victory.

The reverse singles will take place on Sunday followed, if necessary, by a deciding doubles rubber.

Barty will launch her campaign on Saturday against former world No.4 Garcia. After Australia's eventual loss to Germany in January, Barty and her team will be hoping for a different result come Sunday.

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