Caroline Garcia is a Fed Cup champion at last…
The 26-year-old part-Spanish player, who played an integral part in France’s appearance at the Fed Cup finals in 2016, and her doubles partner Kristina Mladenovic, prevailed in the doubles decider to claim a 3-2 victory over Australia in Perth.
Garcia and Mladenovic, who won the women’s doubles title together at the French Openin 2016, proved too good for world No. 1 singles player Ashleigh Barty and Samantha Stosur, cruising to a 6-4 6-3 victory on Sunday to secure the nation’s third Fed Cup crown and first since 2003.
Mladenovic earlier stunned Barty 2-6, 6-4, 7-6 (7-1) in an epic two-and-a-half hour singles battle at RAC Arena to put France ahead in the best-of-five rubbers final.
French No.1 Mladenovic’s phenomenal weekend, which also included a straight-sets drubbing of Ajla Tomljanovic, proved to be the difference between the two nations.
Mladenovic and Garcia were clinical in the deciding rubber.
Australia managed to save two championship points but it was only a matter of time before Mladenovic fittingly served out the match.
It was sweet redemption for Mladenovic and Garcia, who lost the deciding doubles rubber to the Czech Republicin the 2016 Fed Cup final.
“It’s lots of emotion to share this with Caro after three years ago we failed on the last step of the tie,” Mladenovic said.
“Today we just wanted to take this little revenge for ourselves and it’s just not describable how we feel right now.”
Playing for France at the Fed Cup, Garcia was previously awarded a Heart Awardfor her sportsmanship, after leading her country to the 2016 Fed Cup final, France’s first final since 2005.