Mladenovic and Parmentier named in France’s Fed Cup team

Seventh-ranked Caroline Garcia and Alize Cornet will not take part in the February 10-11 series.

Kristina Mladenovic will be among the players leading France’s Fed Cup campaign.   -  AP

Kristina Mladenovic, Pauline Parmentier and Amandine Hesse were named in France’s Fed Cup team on Wednesday for the first-round match against Belgium. Seventh-ranked Caroline Garcia and Alize Cornet will not take part in the February 10-11 series, however.

Garcia is France’s best-ranked player but still does not want to return to play for the national team as she prioritises her singles career. She recently reached the fourth round of the Australian Open.

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Cornet, ranked 38th, is under investigation by the International Tennis Federation after missing three out-of-competition doping tests in the past year. The 10th-ranked Mladenovic will play singles along with 31-year-old Parmentier, who is ranked 91st. Clara Burel is a reserve.

‘Frustrating’

Pierre Cherret, the French Tennis Federation’s interim technical director, said it is “enormously frustrating” not to have Garcia in the team. “She does not feel ready to come back into the France team. She’s focused on her career, which is what she already told us last year,” Cherret said. “Her singles career is her priority. She’s asking for time and to be left alone so she can work quietly in her corner.”

The best-of-five series will be held at the 5,000-seat Vendespace sports complex in Mouilleron-le-Captif, located in the Vendee region of west-central France. France, which lost 4-1 to Switzerland in last year’s quarterfinals, won the Fed Cup in 1997 and 2003.

Since then, France has lost three times in the final, most recently in 2016 when Garcia was playing.

Serena to return
  • Among the players to be participating in the Fed Cup are World No. 2 Simona Halep, Karolina Pliskova, Jelena Ostapenko, Venus Williams and Kristina Mladenovic. Serena Williams will return to action for U.S. when it takes on Netherlands.

Matches
  • World Group 1: U.S.A. vs Netherlands; Czech Republic vs Switzerland; France vs Belgium; Belarus vs Germany.
  • World Group 2: Romania vs Canada; Italy vs Spain; Slovakia vs Russia; Australia vs Ukraine.

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