She first laid down at the bottom of the court to savor her performance. Then, Kristina Mladenovic had trouble drying her tears … At the end of the suspense, the French No. 1 landed the world No. 1 Ashleigh Barty (2-6, 6-4, 7-6 (1) in 2:32) . One of the biggest victories of his career. A feat…
"Playing against the world number one is a chance," smiled the Habs. I felt able to beat her. We had to give everything and that's what I did. I have always believed in myself, it's fabulous. "
The march was announced very high. And yet … Eighteen years after the feat of Nicolas Escudé, winner of the world No. 1 Lleyton Hewitt, which had allowed the Blues to win the Davis Cup in Melbourne, Kristina Mladenovic has been there.
"Kiki" was however badly embarked against an Imperial Barty the day before against Garcia, and who set the tone from the beginning of the encounter with two aces in the first game and a successful break in the wake of a catastrophic playoff of the French.
Then the leader of the Aussies dropped the foot, made some mistakes, and let Mladenovic regain a little hope. After 32 minutes, the first set was already folded.
To the chagrin of the blue-white-red fans, always noisier than the 15,000 Australians of the RAC Arena, even deprived of their instruments (megaphone, bass drum, whistles) for a fussy organization. Bernard Giudicelli, the president of the FFT, has even abandoned the official platform to take place at the foot of the French fans in protest.
From the start of the second run, "Kiki" had a chance, leading 0-40 on the service of the recent winner of the Masters. But despite five break points in total, Julien Benneteau's protégé did not manage to make the difference.
On alternating current, with easy shots missed and slices that have considerably disrupted Mladenovic on his backhand, Barty has finally cracked, conceding the break to 4-4 on a game marked by two passings crossed back of the French .
In an unbreathable third set, Mladenovic broke at 1-1 and got a double break point at 3-1. Before yielding on his faceoff to see the world No. 1 come back to its height (3-3) by haranguing the crowd, fist raised. The Frenchwoman then served for the match at 5-4 before finally winning in a decisive game controlled from A to Z.
France now leads 2-1. Benneteau only has one point left to score for their third Fed Cup, the first since 2003 … In the fourth match, Benneteau chose Pauline Parmentier to challenge Ajla Tomljanovic.