After playing for Croatia in 2010 and 2011, Ajla Tomljanovic had to wait for eight years to compete in the Fed Cup again, defending the colors of Australia against France in Perth. France scored a thrilling 3-2 victory after the deciding doubles rubber and it was Ajla who kept Australia in contention in the fourth and last singles rubber, beating Pauline Parmentier in straight sets to level the overall score at 2-2.
After a convincing loss to Mladenovic on an opening day, the captain Alicia Molik gave Ajla a second chance and she took it with both hands, delivering a 6-4, 7-5 triumph in an hour and 32 minutes and earning her first Fed Cup win for Australia.
Ajla defended her serve nicely, suffering only one break and controlling the pace to seal the deal in straight sets and keep Australia alive ahead of the deciding doubles rubber. Parmentier got broken in the tenth game of the first set to hand it to the opponent who opened a 4-2 advantage in set number two with a break at 15 in game six.
Parmentier got the break back in the next game and wasting a break chance at 4-4 before Ajla broke her at 15 in the 12th game to secure the victory and celebrate one of her proudest moments in a career so far. "I thought 'it can't be worse than what happened on Saturday," Tomljanovic said.
"I'm thrilled I got a second chance today and got the win that kept us in. This team has been unbelievable all week and it's such a privilege to play for you guys. In matches like this, Parmentier loves these moments, she plays a lot of Fed Cup and she took that moment.
And then, to get out of that game at four-all with a break point down was huge just the way I served. I think it gave me the confidence that I showed myself that I'm tough and I think she also saw that it was not going to be easy for her."