They believed in this team from France, they had made the trip to witness the feat. "14 279 kilometers of crossing to be with you", proclaimed on a banner the 150 or so French supporters of the Bleues du Tennis who came to Australia to challenge the world's number one Ashleigh Barty on his lands. Sunday, November 10, in the 14,000-seat hall that hosted the Fed Cup Final in Perth, Australia, we heard that they, these long-term fans, transported enthusiasm and aware of a very good story.
Kristina Mladenovic decisive
Because they did, Captain Julien Benneteau's daughters. At the end of a legendary day, in the decisive double between the tandem Caroline Garcia-Kristina Mladenovic and Ashleigh Barty-Samantha Stosur, the French went for the coveted trophy. The two Blues have imposed themselves with authority, without trembling at the stake, sending the case in just over an hour, 6-4, 6-3. They offer a third Fed Cup to France (3-2) after the titles of 1997 and 2003. A great performance, which owes a lot to the crazy insurance that was able to demonstrate this weekend a Kristina Mladenovic imperial.
Goodbye Davis Cup
After a first day ended Saturday on a perfect equality at the end of the first two singles (a win everywhere), it is she who packed the case by achieving one of the most beautiful games of his career. Against Ashleigh Barty, patron of world tennis this year and triumphant a week earlier at the Women's Masters, Kristina Mladenovic (40e world) played his luck, allowing the storm to pass in the first set (2-6), but raising his level of play to end up destabilizing his rival after a game of suspense. It was necessary to have strong shoulders to conclude the game on a decisive game (2-6, 6-4, 7-6). "It's epic. It's one of my most beautiful and moving moments on a tennis court », commented the 26-year-old after the match.
A collective victory
Still had to keep a cool head and have the energy to start fighting a few hours later after the defeat of Pauline Parmentier against Ajla Tomljanovic (6-4, 7-5) bringing Australia to 2-2. But Kristina Mladenovic was on a cloud this Sunday, transmitting his certainties in the doubles to teammate Caroline Garcia, unfortunate on the first day after his defeat in open field against Ashleigh Barty in singles (6-0, 6-0). Caroline Garcia has regained her lost confidence to best support Kristina Mladenovic, and this is not the least of the satisfactions of this collective success.
Fed Cup: a final and a beautiful story for the Blue
The team of France pitched in recent years, lack of real atoms hooked between his daughters. For his first year of captaincy, Julien Benneteau has managed to forget the little confusions, to bring back Caroline Garcia in the blue house, and to refine a new winning union. Victory is also to his credit.
It is all the more beautiful that the Fed Cup lived there its swan song in the current formula. Sacrifice like the Davis Cup to a reform that distorts the spirit of the competition, the Fed Cup next year will take place over a week in April, opposing the twelve best nations in the world. Finished the alternation of games at home and away, the atmosphere boosted, the flea jumps at the other end of the world. The French fans filled in Perth experienced for the last time a unique experience. Les Bleues offered them the most beautiful of the last ones.
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