France claimed their first Fed Cup title in 16 years on Sunday in a doubles decider against Australia in Perth.
Caroline Garcia and Kristina Mladenovic were 6-4, 6-3 winners against Ashleigh Barty and Samantha Stosur to give France their third title in the women’s team event.
Hosts Australia were challenging for a first Fed Cup title in 45 years but were on the back foot after world No 1 Barty lost 2-6, 6-4, 7-6 (1) to Mladenovic to give France a 2-1 lead in the tie.
Fed Cup debutant Ajla Tomljanovic, overwhelmed 6-1, 6-1 by Mladenovic in the opening singles match on Saturday, then won 6-4, 7-5 against Pauline Parmentier to level the final and force a decider.
Also on Saturday, Barty eased to a comprehensive 6-0, 6-0 success against Garcia in the second singles rubber for her 15th consecutive Fed Cup win.
Australia made a good start in the deciding rubber, taking a 2-0 lead early in the first set. However, France broke back and a number of uncharacteristic unforced errors from both Stosur and Barty saw France take the first set 6-4.
Mladenovic and Garcia got an early break in the second set to take control. Australia had a number of opportunities to break back in the second set, but the French duo held on to win.
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