Last Updated: 11/02/19 11:54am
Romania upset defending champion Czech Republic 3-2 to advance to the semi-finals of the Fed Cup on Sunday, along with France, Belarus and Australia.
Romania reached the last four for the first time after their first victory against the Czechs, who won six titles in the last eight years.
Irina-Camelia Begu and Monica Niculescu teamed up to clinch the best-of-five contest with a 6-7 (2-7) 6-4 6-4 win over Czech pair Katerina Siniakova and Barbora Krejcikova in the doubles after Simona Halep beat Karolina Pliskova, before Siniakova made it 2-2 with a 6-4 6-2 win over Mihaela Burzanescu, leaving the result hinging on the doubles.
It was a similar finish in Australia’s 3-2 win over the USA in North Carolina, with Ash Barty and Priscilla Hon beating Danielle Collins and Nicole Melichar 6-4 7-5 in the deciding doubles.
The Australians, bidding for their first title since 1974, will next play Belarus at home in April.
Ash Barty continued her bright start to the season by winning all three of her Fed Cup ties.
“It’s the best feeling in the world, to be honest,” Barty told reporters. “No matter what the crowd is like, when you’re playing with Australia written on your back, wearing the green and gold, it’s the best feeling, regardless if you’re home or away.”
Belarus dominated at Braunschweig, with Aryna Sabalenka cruising past Laura Siegemund 6-1 6-1 to give her country an insurmountable 3-0 lead over host Germany on an indoor hard court.
In Liege, Caroline Garcia clinched a 3-0 lead for France over host Belgium after easing past Elise Mertens 6-2 6-3 to set up a semi-final against Romania.
Ysaline Bonaventure and Kirsten Flipkens won a consolation point for Belgium with a 6-3 3-6 10-6 victory over Fiona Ferro and Pauline Parmentier to reduce the final score to 3-1.
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