Tomljanovic up for Fed Cup debut pressure

World No.1 Ashleigh Barty will spearhead Australia's Fed Cup title bid this weekend but it remains unclear who will back her up in the singles.

Ajla Tomljanovic has declared herself ready to embrace the pressure of debuting in a Fed Cup final but Australia remain no closer to resolving their selection dilemma.

World No.1 Ashleigh Barty will spearhead Australia's mission to win the title for the first time in 45 years when they host France in Perth this weekend.

Barty will play in both singles and doubles, while Tomljanovic and veteran Samantha Stosur are jostling for the second singles slot.

Stosur boasts the most singles wins for Australia in Fed Cup history but faces stiff competition from the newly-eligible and higher-ranked Tomljanovic, who is confident she has the mettle to handle being thrown into the deep end.

"I don't know if it's ever happened that someone just comes in and joins the final," the world No.51 said on Wednesday.

"I'm definitely not complaining but I know it's a bit odd. But if I got the chance to play obviously I would be super honoured and I would step up to the task.

"There's so much depth in this team so whoever gets the spot I think is going to do a great job.

"Even if someone didn't have a great year, I think in a final anything can happen and everyone just tries to step up."

Team captain Alicia Molik put her team through a light hitout on Wednesday with 35-year-old Stosur putting her best foot forward.

"Ajla and I were out there and we were competing against each other," Stosur said.

"But I think it was just showing that we want to be out there and not only trying to play well for yourself, but you also don't want to let your teammate down and have an average session either."

While the selection of the No.2 singles player is an intriguing subplot, Barty will undoubtedly carry the weight of the nation on her shoulders.

The French Open champion has been unbeaten in four singles matches and two doubles rubbers in Australia's Fed Cup wins over the USA and Belarus this year.

"In my opinion that's a little bit irrelevant," Barty said.

"I know I've played some good ties this year. I've had some help in the doubles rubbers that we've played this year.

"For me, I can take in the confidence that I love playing for my country and there's nothing better than playing in the green and gold.

"We're playing a world class team ... they're a nation that has dominated in the past and they made a final not too long ago."


AAP