Solid France Team
France has made one change to the team that overcame Italy in the quarterfinals earlier this year, as 18-year-old Oceane Dodin makes way for French number three Alizé Cornet. The winning pair of Kristina Mladenovic and Caroline Garcia remain in the side alongside Pauline Parmentier.
Led by captain Amélie Mauresmo, the French team, which boasts three top 50 players in Mladenovic (29), Garcia (44) and Cornet (45), will be a force to reckon with. It is the same team that overcame a 2-0 deficit in last year’s first round match against Italy.
Cornet is in back in action after a back injury kept her out for most of February and March. She sat out the last tie and will be looking to play her part to send France to the finals for the first time in 11 years. Cornet will want to set things right after a disappointing outing in the previous tie. With Mladenovic struggling to get wins in recently, and Garcia losing out in the first round at Charleston, Mauresmo might be looking to call upon Cornet and the experienced Parmentier for the singles rubbers. Both players are currently still playing in Katowice.
Playing at home on their chosen surface of clay, France will be very much eyeing a finals spot. Their players are comfortable on clay and would be looking to use that to their advantage. Standing in their way is a Netherlands side that posted an amazing victory by defeating last year’s finalist Russia in their quarterfinal match. They have stuck to the winning team as Kiki Bertens, Richel Hogenkamp, Cindy Burger and Arantxa Rus will all return.
The last time the two countries met was in the 1997 final, when France eventually emerged victorious.