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Tennis | Fed Cup

Marion Bartoli © Gallo Images

Bartoli returns for Fed Cup

French No 1 Marion Bartoli was recalled to the country's Federation Cup team on Wednesday by new captain Amelie Mauresmo, ending a nine-year absence from the international stage.

Bartoli, 28, whose last appearance for France came in the 2004 final against Russia, was included in Mauresmo's five-player squad for next month's World Group II first-round tie against Germany scheduled for February 9-10 in Limoges.

The world number 10 will be joined by Alize Cornet, Kristina Mladenovic, Virginie Razzano and Pauline Parmentier.

Bartoli's long-term omission from the French set-up stemmed from her insistence that her father and coach, Walter, be by her side during the competition, a demand that contravened team rules and prevented her from participating at the London Olympics.

But speaking at a news conference at the Paris Open, where Bartoli is the tournament's third seed, Mauresmo revealed that conflict had now been resolved, allowing the country's top-ranked player to once again be eligible for selection.

"It's a great thing for everyone involved," said the two-time Grand Slam champion, who took over from Nicolas Escude as captain in July.

"(Marion) came to me after her defeat in the third round of the Australian Open with a wish to take a step towards returning to the French team, telling me that she was ready to re-intregate into the set-up. Today that step is taken," explained Mauresmo.

The former world No 1 also stressed she had made no concessions in order to facilitate Bartoli's return.

"I can confirm that Marion's father won't be there with us during the week of preparation," said Mauresmo.

"Loved ones, family members and trainers can come from Thursday evening to support them, and that has never been a problem," she added.

France have won the Fed Cup on two occasions – 1997 and 2003 – with Mauresmo a central figure in the latter of those triumphs.


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