MELBOURNE - Australia's ever-dependable Ash Barty doled out the dreaded double-bagel to Caroline Garcia, levelling the Fed Cup final at 1-1 against France after the opening day's singles in Perth on Saturday.
On a day of scorching heat, France struck the early blow when Kristina Mladenovic thrashed Ajla Tomljanovic 6-1 6-1, but the terrier-like Barty wrested back the momentum with her 6-0 6-0 rout of Garcia, firing up a heaving crowd at Perth Arena.
World number one Barty will return on Sunday for the reverse singles and doubles, if required, as Australia bid for their first Fed Cup title in 45 years.
"I couldn't have asked for a more perfect match. That's probably the best tennis match I've ever played in my life," a thrilled Barty said courtside after extending her unbeaten run in Fed Cup singles to 10 successive matches.
"What a place to do it, this is incredible."