Breaking: France down Australian, win 2019 Fed Cup …see pictures

Australia’s 45 year Fed Cup drought will continue for another year after France bettered their 2016 runners-up finish to seal an epic 3-2 triumph in Perth on Sunday.

After Croatian-born Australian Ajla Tomljanovic sent the tie into a fifth-rubber decider, French duo Kristina Mladenovic and Caroline Garcia were too good for Ash Barty and Samantha Stosur to win 6-4 6-3.

The victory was France’s third Fed Cup title and first since 2003.

World No.40 Kristina Mladenovic was the hero for France, winning both her singles matches, including her gripping 4-6 6-4 7-6 (7-1) third-rubber against World No.1 Barty.

Together with Garcia, who was dropped for the return singles match against Tomljanovic, the duo had too much class and composure for the experienced Australian pair.

Stosur, in particular, struggled in her first match of the weekend, regularly finding the net.

Australia had been bidding for the first title since 1974, when Evonne Goolagong, Dianne Fromholtz and Janet Young defeated the United States 2-1 in Italy to win the Federation Cup.

Caroline Garcia and Kristina Mladenovic of France celebrate after winning the first set.
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