Fed Cup captain Alicia Molik hailed Ashleigh Barty's poise and class after the fearless young spearhead saved Australia from a disastrous opening to their World Group playoff with the Netherlands in Wollongong.
Barty levelled the best-of-five-match tie at 1-1 with a commanding 6-0 6-2 win over Quirine Lemoine, after world No.210 Lesley Kerkhove had stunned Samantha Stosur 7-5 7-6 (7-1) to give the depleted Dutch a surprise early lead.
At just 21 and despite a three-year hiatus from tennis, Barty has built a formidable 10-2 win-loss record in the competition. She improved her singles record on Saturday to 5-1.
"I am so trusting in Ash's game. In fact, I sit on the side of the court and I'm more at peace than when I was a player," Molik said.
"It's a big occasion, (we're) one-love down and Ash is able to go about her tennis, still produce unbelievable tennis throughout two sets.
"It's not just a huge effort, I think it's a reflection of where she's at in her career with her tennis right now.
"It's a big ask and she was able to more than deliver. It's amazing."
Barty, the world No.19 after a phenomenal comeback season last year following a stint playing professional cricket, said she relished her new-found role as team leader.
"If I can go out and do my job for my country and my team, that's the most important thing," Barty said, crediting her laidback approach for her stunning form.
"I want to play my best tennis and do as best as I can, but it is still only a tennis match and I'm able to go out there and play with freedom and I know that's when I'm able to play my best."
Daria Gavrilova will replace Stosur for Sunday's second reverse singles match, but Molik insists her decision to rest the world No.58 is designed to save the former US Open champion for the potentially decisive doubles rubber.
"That was always our team plan from the start - to share the load," Molik said.
"She hasn't let the team down."
Molik's decision not to play the higher-ranked Gavrilova on Saturday surprised some, given Stosur's slide down the rankings since suffering a stress fracture in her playing hand at last year's French Open.
"I still stand by the call. I think it was the right decision and I think, tomorrow, we will sit back and be able to be thankful for the decision as well," the skipper said.
"She can stay fresh for the doubles and Dash can really look forward to tomorrow's match and one thing I can say about Dash is that she really enjoys a do-or-die situation."
Victory on Sunday would propel Australia back into the eight-nation World Group for the first time since 2015.