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.