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Romania stun champions Czech Republic in Fed Cup
February 12, 2019
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Ostrava: Romania reached the Fed Cup semi-finals for the first time on Sunday with a 3-2 win over defending champions Czech Republic as Irina-Camelia Begu and Monica Niculescu stunned Wimbledon and French Open winners Barbora Krejcikova and Katerina Siniakova in a marathon doubles decider.

Begu and Niculescu triumphed 6-7 (2/7), 6-4, 6-4 in a thrilling rubber in Ostrava which lasted just seven minutes short of three hours.

Krejcikova and Siniakova, the world’s leading pair, trailed a break early in the final set before hitting back to 4-4. But the Romanian pair broke straight back for 5-4 before Begu, ranked at 35 in doubles, served out the tie.

The result ended the 10-time champions Czechs’ hopes of making the Fed Cup semi-finals for an 11th successive year and represented their first home defeat in a decade.

Earlier, Simona Halep won the battle of the former world number ones with an epic 6-4, 5-7, 6-4 triumph over Karolina Pliskova, the Czechs’ highest-ranked player in the absence of world number three Petra Kvitova.

Agencies

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