France win Fed Cup after beating Australia in doubles decider

France celebrate their Fed Cup success
France celebrate their Fed Cup success

France won the Fed Cup after defeating Australia in a doubles decider 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, and first since 2003.

Hosts Australia were challenging for a first Fed Cup title in 45 years but were on the back foot after world number one 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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