Publicado: Mier, Febrero 13, 2019
Deportes | Por Godofredo Marrero

Tennis, Fed Cup: Romania upsets Czechs, Australia beats US

Tennis, Fed Cup: Romania upsets Czechs, Australia beats US

Former world number ones Karolina Pliskova and Simona Halep won their opening matches in the Fed Cup World Group to leave holders the Czech Republic and Romania tied at 1-1.

French Open champion Halep had said that winning a first Fed Cup for Romania was now the top priority on her "bucket list" having finally broken her Grand Slam drought in Paris a year ago.

After nearly three hours, Irina-Camelia Begu and Monica Niculescu prevailed against Katerina Siniakova and Barbora Krejcikova to propel Romania over the finish line, wasting a 4-2 lead in the deciding set before winning eight of the last nine points for a huge celebration. "And since then, I've played every time for the Fed Cup".

The top four seeds in Doha have been given byes into the second round, and with many players still to arrive after the weekend's Fed Cup in different parts of the world, only one main draw match - between the Czech Republic's Barbora Strycova and Oman's wildcard Fatma al-Nabhani - was scheduled yesterday, the Qatar event's official first day.

The Australians will next play Belarus, which lost the 2017 final to the USA, in April.

In Liege, Caroline Garcia crowned her comeback from a two-year Fed Cup exile by leading France past Belgium and into a fourth semi-final in five years.

Romania clinched the tie 3-2 with a win in doubles. "I just lost two times so far and two times was Grand Slam winners, so if it continues like this, I'm happy", Pliskova said about her losses against Halep on Sunday and Australian Open champion Naomi Osaka.

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In Asheville, Australia was leading the United States 2-1 with Ashleigh Barty beating Madison Keys 6-4 6-1 for their second point before Danielle Collins evened things up with a 6-1 3-6 6-2 win over Daria Gavrilova.

It was a similar finish in Australia's 3-2 win over the North Carolina, with Ash Barty and Priscilla Hon beating Danielle Collins and Nicole Melichar 6-4, 7-5 in the deciding doubles.

The match kicked off with back-to-back breaks and it was Halep who earned another one in game nine when Pliskova sprayed a forehand error, realizing the fifth set point in the following game for a 6-4.

The unseeded Romanians will now meet France in the final four in April and will feel confident of going all the way if Halep can maintain her excellent record in the tournament.

Belarus, a finalist in 2017, took control against Germany in Braunschweig after Aliaksandra Sasnovich beat Tatjana Maria 7-6 (3), 6-3, and Aryna Sabalenka dispatched Andrea Petkovic 6-2, 6-1.

For more sports coverage, visit the ABS-CBN Sports website.

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