Tennis

France clinch first Fed Cup title since 2003

Kristina Mladenovic and Caroline Garcia led France to their first Fed Cup in 16 years yesterday, winning a deciding doubles rubber to crush Australia 3-2.

The pair kept their focus at Perth Arena to overcome Ashleigh Barty and Samantha Stosur 6-4, 6-3, denying the home team their first crown in 45 years.

"I'm so proud of my girls and my team," said France captain Julien Benneteau.

Mladenovic was key to their victory, having also beaten world No. 1 Barty 2-6, 6-4, 7-6 (7/1) earlier.

A tournament revamp next year will see 12 nations competing in a six-day event in Budapest.

Over in London, Novak Djokovic eased past Matteo Berrettini 6-2, 6-1 in his ATP Finals opener. - AFP

Tennis