Romania upsets Czechs in Fed Cup, Australia beats US

11 Février, 2019, 05:33 | Auteur: Adelaide Bullion
  • United State's Sofia Kenin returns a shot to Australia's Ashleigh Barty during their first-round Fed Cup tennis match in Asheville N.C. Saturday Feb. 9 2019

Romania has stayed on the course for the first Fed Cup title, prevailing against the Czech Republic 3-2 in Ostrava to set the semi-final clash against France.

Czech world number five Pliskova beat Mihaela Buzarnescu 6-1 6-4 before Romanian Halep defeated Katerina Siniakova 6-4 6-0. That game proved to be pivotal, as Halep was unable to convert a game point, and then finished two straight points with backhands into the net to let Pliskova level the match at one set apiece.

It was a similar finish in Australia's 3-2 win over the U.S.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 will next play Belarus, which lost the 2017 final to the USA, in April. 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.

Katerina Siniakova played with a lot of pressure on her back but she managed to outplay Mihaela Buzarnescu 6-4, 6-2 in an hour and 26 minutes, leveling the score at 2-2 before the doubles rubber that had to decide the victor of this outstanding tie.

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Elsewhere in the other best-of-five top-tier ties, two-time champions France took a 2-0 lead over Belgium following wins for world number 19 Caroline Garcia and Alize Cornet, ranked 51.

The ninth-ranked Sabalenka hit 18 winners compared with five for her opponent to help Belarus avenge losing to Germany 3-2 past year in Minsk.

Garcia marked her return to the Fed Cup for the first time since the 2016 final with a couple of victories after overcoming Alison Van Uytvanck 7-6 (2), 4-6, 6-2 in the opening singles on Saturday.

In the doubles, 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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