Australian debutant Ajla Tomljanovic has got her wish to open the Fed Cup Final against France at RAC Arena tomorrow.
Tomljanovic has been given the nod as the Australia’s No.2 singles player in the decider ahead of Sam Stosur.
At this morning’s Official Draw at the Heath Ledger Theatre, Tomljanovic was selected to open the final tomorrow against French No.1 Kristina Mladenovic.
World No.1 Ash Barty will then face French No.2 Caroline Garcia in the afternoon.
Sunday will see the reverse singles with Barty up against Mladenovic before Tomljanovic and Garcia face off.
The doubles is scheduled as the final rubber, with Stosur set to pair with Barty and Mladenovic and Garcia both to back up.
Tomljanovic’s selection tops a remarkable week for the 26-year-old.
“Actually, I was hoping to be first up,” Tomljanovic said. “I think it’s good to get it under way right away. It’s going to add to the moment, it’s going to be extra special so I’m definitely really excited.
“It’s obviously been an unbelievable experience so far. I think Saturday is going to probably the highlight of my year and probably career so far. I’m just really excited to be a part of it and I just want to do my best.”
Mladenovic revealed she and Tomljanovic were close and their fathers had played handball against one another.
“We’re the same age,” Tomljanovic said. “We grew up together playing the same tournaments so I think there will be no secrets tomorrow, we know each other’s game really well.
“I’m definitely expecting her to bring her best and so will I.”
Australian captain Alicia Molik said the atmosphere inside the arena was going to be phenomenal.
“It’s going to be an amazing spectacle,” she said. “It will be something to remember.
“They are exciting match ups I think because of the style that the players play. All four are pretty aggressive players. We all love the court, the stadium is a perfect place for us.”
Barty said she would need to play well against Garcia.
“Caroline and I have had some exceptional battles in the past,” Barty said. “She is a great friend of mine and I know that we both play our best tennis during Fed Cup week so tomorrow’s match is going to be of a really high quality and I’m going to have to be at my best to match it with her.”
Garcia said she would embrace the chance to take on the best in the world on the biggest of stages.
“Of course, it’s a big test,” Garcia said. “But there’s nothing more I could ask for than to play against the world No.1 in the final of Fed Cup.
“It’s a pretty amazing and great experience. I’m really looking forward to it.”
Garcia and Mladenovic also insisted they would be able to handle the high temperature forecast.
“We have played in Australia every year,” Garcia said. “I cannot say we are used to playing in 40C but we all did once in our lives. It’s a tough test but I think we are ready for it.”