MELBOURNE, Nov 10 (Reuters) - Kristina Mladenovic moved France in sight of a first Fed Cup title in 16 years by pulling off a brave 2-6 6-4 7-6(1) win over world number one Ash Barty in the first reverse singles of the final against Australia on Sunday.
Mladenovic's inspired comeback win on the blue hardcourt hushed a heaving crowd of 13,841 at Perth Arena and gave France a precious 2-1 lead before the second reverse singles.
Battling the crowd and one of the cleverest all-court opponents in the game, Mladenovic stumbled on the road to victory as Barty broke back twice in the decisive set.
But the French number one served up a storm in the tiebreak and collapsed in relief after Barty finally surrendered with a forehand slapped into the net. (Reporting by Ian Ransom in Melbourne; Editing by Richard Pullin)