Ash Barty will steer Australia into a historic battle against France in the 2019 BNP Paribas Fed Cup Final, to be broadcast on Nine this weekend.
James Bracey will host our live broadcast from RAC Arena in Perth, with commentary from former Fed Cup representatives Casey Dellacqua and Jelena Dokic, alongside Sam Groth and Todd Woodbridge.
World No.1 Barty will headline an impressive squad featuring Australia’s No.2, Ajla Tomljanovic, fellow Grand Slam champion Sam Stosur, and young guns Astra Sharma and Priscilla Hon.
The Aussies will be competing in the nation’s first appearance in a Fed Cup final in 26 years and will be out to win their first Fed Cup title since 1974.
Barty will spearhead the team in what has been a remarkable 2019 season, crowned by her first Grand Slam title at the French Open, followed up with a title in Birmingham, where she became just the second Australian woman in history to ascend to the world No.1 ranking, and culminating with her WTA Finals victory in Shenzhen last night.
Tomljanovic will debut for Australia after a successful year which has seen her spending most of 2019 inside the Top 50 and hitting a career-high ranking of No.39 in April.
Stosur’s experience will be a huge asset – she holds the record for the most Australian Fed Cup singles wins. She also teamed with Barty to give Australia a thrilling 3-2 victory over Belarus in the Fed Cup semi-finals in Brisbane, improving her flawless Fed Cup doubles record to 8-0. Currently ranked world No.15 in doubles, Stosur has been a consistent doubles force throughout the year, after claiming the Australian Open doubles title in January alongside China’s Zhang Shuai.
Sharma has been one of the breakout stars on the WTA Tour this year. After qualifying for the Australian Open she reached the second round in singles before advancing to the mixed doubles final with John-Patrick Smith. She then notched her first tour-level final in Bogota in April.
Hon, like Sharma, has enjoyed a season of improvement, and currently sits at a career-high world No.118. Five times she has qualified for WTA events in 2019, most recently in Seoul where she won through to the quarter-finals.
Australia holds a 5-1 record over France, although the French team won the most recent tie between the two nations in 2000. Australia owns seven Fed Cup titles to France’s two, yet France is appearing in its second final in four years.
The French squad remains unchanged from the team that sealed the semi-final win against Romania in April. It boasts a lineup of top players, including four in the Top 100: Caroline Garcia, Kristina Mladenovic, Alize Cornet and Fiona Ferro. Pauline Parmentier rounds out the group.
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