14 November 2019 | Tennis West

Patriotic French students from the International School of WA were treated to a behind-the-scenes sneak peek at the French team in training ahead of last weekend’s Fed Cup Final, where the French claimed the prestigious title 3-2 over Australia.

The twenty five students from Year 2-11, were taken inside RAC Arena on Tuesday to watch the French team in training. The excited group of students met with French player Alize Cornet and French Captain Julien Benneteau who spoke with the students in French.

Year five student Leo Terrade said he was thrilled to visit RAC Arena and witness the French team in training.

“My favourite sport is tennis, I play tennis a lot,”

“I’ll be cheering ‘allez les Bleus’ – It means ‘Come on France’” Terrade said.

Invited to sit in the stands and watch their countrywomen train, the students were privy to the preparation that goes into securing a Fed Cup victory.

The action which kicked off last Saturday, saw Australian debutante Ajla Tomljanovic take to the court against Kristina Mladenovic who dismissed the Aussie hopeful in straight sets 6-1 6-1.

Australia’s Ash Barty equalled the score when she continued her record breaking year beating Caroline Garcia 6-0 6-0, an unfathomable feat no other player in Fed Cup Final history had ever achieved.

Heading into day two, the Australians looked strong against the French, with Barty dominating early in the reverse singles before Mladenovic fought back from a set down to take the third rubber 2-6 6-4 7-6(1).

With the Australians on the back foot, it was up to Tomljanovic to ensure the Final would be decided by the doubles. In redeeming form from her appearance against Mladenovic, Tomljanovic beat Pauline Parmentier 6-4 7-5.

Keeping fans on the edge of their seats into a fifth and decider rubber, Kristina Mladenovic and Caroline Garcia combined to beat Ash Barty and Sam Stosur 6-4 6-3 to win the 2019 Fed Cup title for France.

With an automatic entry, Australia will now turn its attention to the new “World Cup of Tennis” Fed Cup format to be played in Budapest. Australia will head to Laszlo Papp Budapest Sports Arena in April aiming to lay claim to the title for Australia for the first time since 1974.