Caroline Garcia Helps Lead France to Fed Cup Title

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.

Caroline Garcia & Kristina Mladenovic

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.

Caroline Garcia & Kristina Mladenovic

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.

Alex de Minaur Named the ATP World Tour’s Newcomer of the Year

He may be new to the ATP World Tour, but Alex de Minaur is definitely getting notices…

The 19-year-old Spanish & Uruguyan-Australian tennis playerhas been named the ATP World Tour Newcomer of the Year, sharing year-end honors with Novak Djokovic, Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal.

Alex de Minaur

de Minaur earned the honors after a stunning breakout season, climbing from No 208 to 31st in the rankings.

He’s all but guaranteed an Australian Open seeding after last year winning his way into the tournament through the wildcard playoff.

The baseliner’s effort to reach the final of the Next Gen ATP Finals decider is yet another milestone for de Minaur.

His progress this year has been so sustained, he has claimed a career-high ranking on 15 separate occasions.

As semifinalist and finalist in Brisbane and Sydney, respectively, in January, de Minaur became the first 19-year-old to reach successive ATP semifinals since Rafael Nadal in 2005. Nadal achieved the feat at Monte Carlo and Barcelona.

de Minaur and Ashleigh Barty are expected to fight out the Newcombe Medal later this month from John Millman and Jason Kubler.

Djokovic was voted by ATP peers as Comeback Player of the Year, overcoming elbow surgery to return to No 1.

Djokovic’s coach Marian Vajda is Coach of the Year after returning to the Serb’s camp as part of an incredible rebuild.

Nadal was chosen by his fellow players as recipient of the Stefan Edberg Sportsmanship Award.

Federer was voted Fans’ Favorite for the 16th successive year.

Mike Bryan and Jack Sock were voted Doubles Fans’ Favorites.

Stefanos Tsitsipas claimed Most Improved Player of the Year honors.

Oliver Marachand Mate Pavic secured the ATP world No 1 Doubles Team Award, while Spain’s Tommy Robredo earned the Arthur Ashe Humanitarian Award.