Romania’s extraordinary run at the 2019 edition of the Fed Cup ended in the semifinals after suffering a close defeat at the hands of France.
for the Fed Cup final after a dramatic 3-2 win against Romania on Sunday at
home. France will play the final in November against Australia, who eliminated
Belarus. It's for the second time in history that Romania didn't get past the
semifinals, the first time being 46 years ago.
point was delivered by the pair Caroline Garcia and Kristina Mladenovic who won
their 3-set doubles match against the Romanian pair Simona Halep and Monica
Niculescu after a dramatic match. The difference was in the details in this electrifying
match in which both pairs gave their last ounce of energy. Garcia and
Mladenovic won in the end, after 2 hours and 37 minutes, appearing somewhat
fresher in the final two games of the decisive set. Florin Segarceanu, the
non-playing captain of Romania's Fed Cup team, said after the match: "The
players gave their all hoping to win and our dream to play the final is not
over. Simona Halep and Monica Niculescu fought for every ball, point and game,
sparing no physical and mental energy. They deserved to win the decisive
doubles match, but a few points made all the difference."
doubles match, Romania and France were tied 2-all. Both points were delivered
by world no. 2 Simona Halep, who won her singles matches against Kristina
Mladenovic, ranked 66th in the world, and Caroline Garcia, ranked 21st.
Halep said after the marathon match against Garcia that she fought for every
point and the fact that she didn't give up, even when she was down four games
to none in the first set, raised her confidence in herself and gave her a
mental advantage against her opponent.
In the two other
singles matches, Mihaela Buzarnescu, no. 30 in the world, lost to Caroline
Garcia on Saturday, while Irina Begu, world no. 83, who replaced Buzarnescu for
the final match at the last minute, was defeated by Pauline Parmentier, who had
herself replaced Kristina Mladenovic. At the press conference at the end, a teary-eyed
Irina Begu said she was disappointed she didn't win a point and was unable to
help the team. Begu thanked Simona Halep for her dedication in the matches
against France. The French players Kristina Mladenovic and Caroline Garcia also
said their opponents Simona Halep and Monica Niculescu were incredible, as were
the Romanian fans in the audience.
Romania will play the Fed Cup quarterfinals, where they may face the Czech
Republic, the United States, Spain or Germany.