Kristina Mladenovic and Caroline Garcia made up for their painful 2016 Fed Cup final defeat as the pair overcame Ashleigh Barty and Samantha Stosur to secure France's third title.

Barty was flawless as she drew Australia level on day one with a 6-0 6-0 triumph over Garcia, but the world number one failed to recapture her form on Saturday as the hosts went down 3-2.

WTA Finals champion Barty started well in Perth and looked to be on the verge of another dominant win when she went a set up against Mladenovic in her singles rubber, yet it was the world number 40 who proved the star of day two.

After a sensational 2-6 6-4 7-6 (7-1) comeback victory over Barty, Mladenovic starred alongside Garcia as France clinched the trophy with a 6-4 6-3 doubles win, three years on from the same pairing suffering defeat to the Czech Republic in a decider.

"There are lots of emotions, to share this with Caro," Mladenovic said after a superb, instinctive volley from Garcia had proved too much for Barty's partner Samantha Stosur to handle on France's third match point.

"Three years ago we failed on the last step of the tie and we just wanted to take revenge for ourselves. It's indescribable how we feel right now."

Ajla Tomljanovic had stepped up for Australia by overcoming Pauline Parmentier 6-4 7-5 in Saturday's second singles contest to set up the grandstand finish, before Barty and Stosur made a fine start in the decider with an immediate break.

However, Mladenovic and Garcia rallied to draw level at 2-2 and a second break handed them the opening set.

Successive concessions of serve from the Australians put France into a commanding position in the second set, with Barty and Stosur subsequently failing to take advantage of three break points in the next game.

France were in no mood to let victory slip out of their grasp and – after Australia clawed back two match points to hold serve – Garcia's reactions got the better of Stosur, sparking jubilant celebrations from Julien Benneteau's team.

"I'm the proudest man on the planet right now," France's captain said. "It's a dream for me. I'm going to have a lot of beers!"

World number one Ashleigh Barty crushed Caroline Garcia 6-0 6-0 to square the Fed Cup final at 1-1 at the end of play on Saturday.

Australia trailed France following the opening rubber but were back level just 56 minutes after Barty took to the court in Perth.

The WTA Finals champion sent down eight aces and hit 15 winners to set up a blockbuster showdown with Kristina Mladenovic, who earlier breezed past Ajla Tomljanovic.

Mladenovic broke serve in the opening game and never looked back in a convincing 6-1 6-1 victory, but will have a tougher time getting past an in-form Barty on Sunday.

"I couldn't have asked for a more perfect match," the Australian said after seeing off Garcia.

"I think that's probably the best tennis match I've ever played in my life and what a place to do it, this is incredible. I'm so happy to be back here in Perth. I started my year here, so it's a hell of a way to finish it off too."

Barty is due to partner veteran Sam Stosur in the doubles, with Mladenovic and Garcia to team up for France.

Caroline Garcia's Tianjin Open title defence came to a grinding halt against Wang Yafan on Wednesday.

The Frenchwoman suffered a 6-4 6-2 loss to exit at the last-16 stage, leaving Chinese player Wang to face Sweden's Rebecca Peterson in the quarter-finals.

Peterson was leading 7-5 3-2 against Wang Xinyu when her Chinese opponent retired hurt.

Kazakhstan's Yulia Putintseva, the sixth seed, sealed a dominant 6-1 6-2 triumph over 2011 US Open champion Samantha Stosur.

Up next for the world number 36 is a meeting with Ons Jabeur, who downed Wang Xiyu 6-4 6-2.

Caroline Garcia came from behind to avoid a shock defeat in the first round of the Tianjin Open, but Venus Williams was dumped out.

Fourth seed Garcia lost the first set to Anastasia Potapova before fighting back to claim a 2-6 6-2 6-2 win.

Seven-time grand slam champion Williams could not produce a similar recovery, however, losing 6-3 4-6 6-3 to Rebecca Peterson, who maintained her upward momentum after winning her maiden WTA singles title in Nanchang last month.

Williams spurned two match points in a defeat to Belinda Bencic in the second round of the China Open last time out and was unable to deliver the kind of display that saw her push a top-10 player to the limit as she fell at the first hurdle.

Sixth seed Yulia Putintseva needed three sets to see off Astra Sharma 6-1 1-6 7-5, while Sam Stosur - a finalist in Guangzhou last month - also had to go the distance to beat Yang Zhaoxuan.

There was home success for Wang Yafan, the Chinese dishing out a bagel in a straight-sets defeat of Lauren Davis, while Heather Watson overcame Kateryna Bondarenko.

 

 

Venus Williams fell at the first hurdle in the Wuhan Open as she went down 5-7 6-7 (5-7) to compatriot Danielle Collins.

Williams entered the competition as a wildcard but, despite breaking twice in the opener, lost her own serve on three occasions as Collins took the first of three set points to go ahead.

Two concessions of serve followed for Williams as Collins raced into a five-game lead in set two, but the 39-year-old rallied to survive two match points and force a tie break.

But despite squandering a further two match points, world number 35 Collins eventually prevailed to set up a second-round tie with defending champion Aryna Sabalenka.

The 21-year-old split with long-time coach Dmitry Tursunov after her US Open exit and lost to Petra Martic in the quarter-finals of the Zhengzhou Open last week.

Sabalenka bounced back on Sunday though, overcoming fellow Belarusian Aliaksandra Sasnovich 6-1 6-2.

Sloane Stephens ended the hopes of home favourite Zhang Shuai, coming from 4-2 down in the first set to win it 7-5.

Momentum swung between Stephens and Shuai in set two, but the American came out with a 7-5 6-4 win when she converted a fourth match point.

World number one Ashleigh Barty received a bye for round one, with the Australian to play against former world number two Caroline Garcia after her straight sets win over Daria Kasatkina.

Bernarda Pera beat Jennifer Brady to tee up a match with Kike Bertens, while Polona Gercog progressed to meet Petra Kvitova.

Wimbledon champion Simona Halep, meanwhile, will go up against Barbora Strycova, who dispatched Xiyu Wang in 6-4 6-2.

Top seed Karolina Pliskova was rescued by the rain at the Zhengzhou Open as Polona Hercog's fightback was brought to a halt.

Pliskova started brightly to take the first set 6-3 but the world number two was serving to stay in the second at 5-2 down when the weather intervened, as it had several times during the day.

The duo will resume on Thursday at the WTA Premier event to settle who will make it through to the last eight.

Sofia Kenin awaits the winner after the sixth seed defeated Alize Cornet 6-4 6-2.

Petra Martic, seeded seventh, also progressed but had to battle back from a set down to overcome Fiona Ferro 3-6 6-1 6-2.

There was one seed who suffered a loss, though, with Caroline Garcia beaten 7-5 6-2 at the hands of Kristina Mladenovic.

Caroline Garcia had to battle hard to halt a four-match losing streak while fellow seeds Sofia Kenin and Petra Martic also progressed at the Zhengzhou Open.

Garcia had not recorded a victory on the WTA Tour since beating Kristyna Pliskova in Jurmala in July. She lost to Chloe Paquet in the last 16 at that tournament before suffering opening defeats in Toronto and Cincinnati.

Having lost in straight sets to Ons Jabeur at the US Open, the French eighth seed was forced to work hard against Tereza Martincova in China.

Garcia eventually prevailed on her third match point, securing a 6-4 4-6 7-5 result after two hours and 35 minutes on court.

Kenin began her campaign with a 6-2 7-5 win over Paquet. The American, seeded six for a tournament serving as a Premier event on the Asian swing for the first time, came back from a break down in the second set to triumph.

As for Martic, she overcame Italian Jasmine Paolini 7-5 6-1 in a match that lasted 74 minutes.

The other first-round match to take place on Monday saw Yulia Putintseva prevail 6-1 5-7 6-1 against Tamara Zidansek in a repeat of this year's Nuremberg Cup final, which the former also won in three sets.

Chloe Paquet claimed the biggest scalp of her professional career as the French player stunned compatriot Carolina Garcia in round two of the Baltic Open.

Paquet is ranked 156th in the world by the WTA and the 25-year-old recently lost to British player Gabriella Taylor in the first round of Wimbledon qualifying.

But she recorded a 4-6 6-4 6-3 victory against world number 22 Garcia at the tournament in Jurmala, Latvia.

Garcia was the second seed at the clay-court event and had beaten Paquet in straight sets in all of their three previous meetings.

Romanian Patricia Maria Tig won 6-4 6-4 against Ukrainian Anhelina Kalinina, while Russian sixth seed Anastasia Potapova saw off Austrian Barbara Haas 6-2 6-3.

In front of a home crowd, Latvian top seed Anastasija Sevastova skirted with trouble before edging out Slovenian Dalila Jakupovic 6-7 (3-7) 6-2 6-4.

Poland's Katarzyna Kawa, who has spent a decade as a professional without reaching a WTA final, scored a resounding 6-3 6-0 win against Croatian Jana Fett to set up a quarter-final meeting with Paquet.

At the Palermo Open, French second seed Alize Cornet made a second-round exit as she stumbled 7-5 6-4 against German Anna-Lena Friedsam.

Slovenian fourth seed Tamara Zidansek exited too, a 6-2 7-5 victim of Russian Liudmila Samsonova, but eighth-seeded Swiss Jil Teichmann safely advanced by winning 6-1 7-6 (7-4) against Brazilian Gabriela Ce.

In a late finish, Fiona Ferro progressed by easily beating Giulia Gatto-Monticone of Italy 6-3 6-2.

Second seed Caroline Garcia was shocked at the Ladies Open Lausanne on Wednesday, downed in straight sets by Bernarda Pera.

Pera, ranked 85th in the world, proved too strong in a 6-2 6-4 victory to set up a quarter-final meeting against Xinyun Han.

The left-hander won the last five games of the first set and never looked back and said afterwards her second serve was key.

"You can say I'm satisfied. I played well," Pera said.

"She's a tough opponent and I'm thrilled to be in the next round. I think she was struggling a lot with my second serve.

"I was able to break her a couple of times and that's what made the difference."

Han beat Liudmila Samsonova 7-5 6-4, while Australian Daria Gavrilova was another big name beaten at the event, Russian Natalia Vikhlyantseva toppling the seventh seed 6-3 6-2.

Vikhlyantseva will play third seed Alize Cornet in the last eight, the Frenchwoman coasting to a 6-1 6-1 success against Jasmine Paolini.

Also on Wednesday, Laura Siegemund and Kristyna Pliskova won at the Bucharest Open.

Sixth seed Siegemund defeated Lara Arruabarrena 7-5 6-3 and Pliskova did it even easier, cruising past Ysaline Bonaventure 6-0 6-2.

Martina Di Giuseppe came from behind to topple Varvara Lepchenko 3-6 6-1 7-6 (7-3) and Irina-Camelia Begu beat Kaja Juvan 6-4 6-3, while Viktoria Kuzmova defeated Jaimee Fourlis 7-5 6-2 in the late match.

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