Ash Barty: Kiki has the ability to play well in the big moments

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Ash Barty: Kiki has the ability to play well in the big moments

World No.1 and WTA Finals champion Ashleigh Barty has had a fantastic 2019 season and is upbeat about the upcoming Fed Cup final against France. She however is concerned about one player in the French roster - Kristina Mladenovic.

Mladenovic, just like Barty is fresh from her season-ending doubles crown in China with Timea Babos and is the only Frenchwomen who had an upper hand on the Australian. Mladenovic is a former Singles Top-10 player and has five grand slam titles across women’s and mixed doubles, making her a threat in both Singles and doubles.

Mladenovic outplayed Barty 6-2 6-3 in Rome before Barty went on winning spree that also saw her win the French Open, her first major title. “Kiki has the ability to play well in the big moments,” Barty said. “Obviously she was on a bit of a heater in Shenzhen in doubles and she’s a beautiful doubles player.

We’ve seen that time and time again”. “I’m sure, without knowing the team until Friday, that her name will feature heavily on Saturday and Sunday. So it’s someone I would love to play and try and right my wrongs from midway through the year when we played in Rome”.

If things go according to plan, Barty and Mladenovic will face off in Sunday’s first reverse singles rubber and could possibly take on each other again in doubles with Mladenovic partnering Caroline Garcia and Barty partnering Samantha Stosur.