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Romania Stuns Czech Republic, Reaches Fed Cup Semifinals Along With Belarus

Simona Halep helped Romania upset the Czech Republic and advance in the Fed Cup tennis tournament. (file photo)

Romania has upset defending champion Czech Republic 3-2 in Ostrava to advance into the semifinals of the Fed Cup tennis tournament along with Belarus, France, and Australia.

Romania’s Irina-Camelia Begu and Monica Niculescu clinched the best-of-five series against the Czechs on February 10 by a score of 6-7 (2), 6-4, 6-4 over Katerina Siniakova and Barbora Krejcikova.

In Braunschweig, Germany, Belarus’s Aryna Sabalenka easily defeated Laura Siegemund 6-1, 6-1 to give Belarus an insurmountable 3-0 lead over the hosts.

Romania will now travel to France on April 20-21 for the semifinals. Belarus, which lost the 2017 final to the United States, will travel to Australia in its semifinal, also on April 20-21. The final will be on November 9-10.

The Czechs have won six titles in the past eight years and have reached the finals 11 years in a row.

Romanian star Simona Halep won the battle of the former world No. 1 players in a 6-4, 5-7, 6-4 triumph over Karolina Pliskova.

The Czechs were without their highest-ranked player, Petra Kvitova, who decided not to compete after losing in the semifinals of the Australian Open in late January.

Based on reporting by AFP and AP