Romania stun champions Czech Republic in Fed Cup

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11 Feb 2019, 10:29 IST

Paris, Feb 11 (AFP) Romania reached the Fed Cup semi-finals for the primary time on Sunday with a 3-2 win over defending champions Czech Republic as Irina-Camelia Begu and Monica Niculescu surprised Wimbledon and French Open winners Barbora Krejcikova and Katerina Siniakova in a marathon doubles decider.

Begu and Niculescu triumphed 6-7 (2/7) 6-Four 6-Four in an exhilarating rubber in Ostrava which lasted simply seven minutes in need of three hours.

Krejcikova and Siniakova, the world’s main pair, trailed a break early within the last set earlier than hitting again to 4-4. However the Romanian pair broke straight again for 5-Four earlier than Begu, ranked at 35 in doubles, served out the tie.

The consequence ended the 10-time champions Czechs’ hopes of constructing the Fed Cup semi-finals for an 11th successive 12 months and represented their first residence defeat in a decade.

Earlier Simona Halep received the battle of the previous world quantity ones with an epic 6-4, 5-7, 6-Four conquer Karolina Pliskova, the Czechs’ highest-ranked participant within the absence of world quantity three Petra Kvitova.

“I’m blissful to have received towards such a tricky opponent,” stated Halep after successful her second singles of the weekend.

“It was my finest and largest win within the Fed Cup.” Siniakova, who received each her singles rubbers within the 2018 last conquer the USA, pulled the Czechs degree by seeing off Mihaela Buzarnescu 6-4, 6-2.

French Open champion Halep had stated that successful a primary Fed Cup for Romania was now the highest precedence on her “bucket listing” having lastly damaged her Grand Slam drought in Paris final 12 months.

Romania will now journey to France in April’s semi-finals whereas the opposite last-four conflict sees Belarus up towards both the USA or Australia.

In Liege, Caroline Garcia topped her comeback from a two-year Fed Cup exile by main France previous Belgium and right into a fourth semi-final in 5 years.

French primary Garcia brushed apart Belgium’s high participant Elise Mertens 6-2, 6-Three to comply with her opening day three-set win over Alison Van Uytvanck. Her win gave two-time champions France an unassailable 3-Zero lead within the tie earlier than Belgium grabbed a comfort level within the useless doubles rubber.

“Two years will not be that lengthy in a tennis profession,” stated Garcia who opted out of the Fed Cup in 2017 following an unsightly public spat along with her teammates.

“However I all the time stated that I’d come again and that it was vital to me.”

At Asheville in North Carolina, Ashleigh Barty notched up a 10th successive win within the match by seeing off Madison Keys 6-4, 6-1 to present Australia a 2-1 lead over 18-time champions the USA.

Danielle Collins then levelled the tie when the Australian Open semi-finalist, making her Fed Cup debut, noticed off Daria Gavrilova 6-1, 3-6, 6-2.

Belarus coasted into the semi-finals when world quantity 9 Aryna Sabalenka defeated Laura Siegemund 6-1, 6-1 for an unassailable 3-Zero lead over Germany in Braunschweig.

“I’m so blissful and our staff is so blissful. It is unbelievable to win,” stated the 20-year-old Sabalenka who dropped simply 5 video games in 4 units all weekend. The semi-finals happen on the weekend of April 20-21

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