Australia snub Stosur for Fed Cup singles, pick Tomljanovic


World number one Ashleigh Barty has enjoyed a career-changing season and is "extremely hungry" to end it on a high by steering Australia to their first Fed Cup in 45 years.

Now unbeaten with a 6-0 record for rubbers this year, she became the first player to contest and win the maximum number of matches on the way to the Fed Cup Final in the competition's current format, having claimed clean sweeps during Australia's victories against US and Belarus earlier this year.

Simply previous to Friday's entice, Australia workers captain Alicia Molik selected No. 51-ranked Tomljanovic above Stosur as Australia's 2nd singles participant driving Barty.

Drawn to face Caroline Garcia in the second singles match on Saturday, with Tomljanovic to take on France's first singles player Kristina Mladenovic, Barty will then face Mladenovic in the reverse singles on Sunday and will partner Stosur in the doubles if the tie has yet to be decided.

In contrast, Tomljanovic has had a good year and spent most of it inside the world's top 50. "For us it was a matter of match-ups and I feel like we are going in with our strongest two players for Saturday", said Molik.

Australia are bidding for their eighth title and first since 1974, with France going for a third after last winning the team tournament in 2003. "We're all here together, willing each other on as much as we can".

The Julien Benneteau-captained team are no strangers to Perth Arena, either, with Cornet having won the team-based Hopman Cup event at the venue in 2014 and Mladenovic winning it in 2017.

Facing the media ahead of the final, teammate Barty was full of praise for Stosur and everything she's brought to Australian tennis.

"When you play a Fed Cup final with the number one in the world on the other side, and away, you can not say that you have an advantage", he said on Wednesday.

"It's just unbelievable to be part of another fantastic team and be in a final, this is what we've all been trying to achieve for a really long time", Stosur said following the Fed Cup draw on Friday.

Court has indicated she will attend the Fed Cup final and may meet with TA chief Craig Tiley while in town.

While it is Australia's first final since 1993, France made the decider three years ago, losing 3-2 to the Czech Republic. "These are the weeks that I love - these are the weeks that I cherish", she said. "We have nothing to lose".

The 2020 Fed Cup will feature a new format, with the world's 12 best teams coming together to battle for the title over one week at the new Fed Cup by BNP Paribas Finals in Budapest on 14-19 April.