World No 1 Ashleigh Barty produced “a perfect match” to crush Caroline Garcia 6-0 6-0 and draw Australia level with France in the Fed Cup final.
Kristina Mladenovic had given France a 1-0 lead in Perth when she swept aside Ajla Tomljanovic 6-1 6-1.
But Barty, fresh from her win at last week’s WTA Finals, needed just 56 minutes to beat the world No 45 Garcia and make it 1-1 after Saturday’s opening rubbers.
“I couldn’t have asked for a more perfect match,” Barty said in her on-court interview.
“I think that’s probably the best tennis match I’ve ever played in my life, and what a place to do it, this is incredible.
“I’m so happy to be back here in Perth. I started my year here, so it’s a hell of a way to finish it off too.”
Barty is set to face Mladenovic in the first reverse singles match on Sunday.
“I know she has the weapons to make me uncomfortable,” she said of Mladenovic. “It’s about trying to nullify that the best I can.”
Barty will drive into this next match filled with confidence, having hit 15 winners and eight aces en route to overwhelming Garcia.
Her potent serving and pinpoint shot-making drove her on while Garcia struggled in the sweltering conditions with the temperature hitting near 40 degrees Celsius.
“She didn’t leave me a lot of space. She played well from the first point,” Garcia said of Barty. “I was disappointed with my performance.”