Tennis: Fed Cup Final 2019, Australia vs France, Ash Barty, Ajla Tomljanovic, Sam Stosur
The temperature is forecast to reach 40C on Saturday when Ajla Tomljanovic and French opponent Kristina Mladenovic get the final underway at RAC Arena. World No.1 Ashleigh Barty will take on Caroline Garcia in Saturday’s other match.
Australia will be hoping the hot weather plays in their favour as they look to claim their first Fed Cup title in 45 years.
But Garcia doesn’t believe the visitors will struggle under the conditions, saying she and Mladenovic have plenty of experience playing down under.
“We’ve played in Australia every year. I cannot say we are used to playing in 40 degrees but I think we all did once in our life,” Garcia said.
“Of course it’s a tough test but I think we are ready for it.
“I think if we cannot handle it in one weekend for Fed Cup final and to get our name on the trophy, that means we are not worth it. So I think we are all ready.”
Sunday’s reverse singles draw features Barty taking on Mladenovic and Fed Cup debutant Tomljanovic facing Garcia.
Should the scores be level in the best-of-five rubbers format, Barty will partner Samantha Stosur to face Mladenovic and Garciain a deciding doubles clash.
Unlike the Australian team, France boast Fed Cup finals experience. Mladenovic and Garcia both played in the 2016 decider in Strasbourg which France lost 3-2 to the Czech Republic.
“To be in the final again, we’ve already been there so we have nothing to lose,” former world No.4 Garcia said.
“I think it’s only a chance to improve and we have to go for it from the first match until the last one.
“The experience of 2016 was tough but it brings us more together for this weekend to try to get the trophy this time.”
Ajla Tomljanovic vs Kristina Mladenovic
Ash Barty vs Caroline Garcia
Ash Barty vs Kristina Mladenovic
Ajla Tomljanovic vs Caroline Garcia
Ash Barty/Sam Stosur vs Caroline Garcia/Kristina Mladenovic
– with AAP
Originally published as Barty to combat brutal 40 degree heat