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Romania vs Great Britain Fed Cup news, matches and results: Halep stars as Romania beat Great Britain in controversial tie

Hannah Wilks in Fed Cup 24 Apr 2017
  • Simona Halep starred in her home town as Romania defeated Great Britain in a controversial Fed Cup World Group II Play-Off tie in Constanta.
  • Watch and bet on tennis live from Constanta at bet365 > live streaming > tennis
Halep's victory over Konta provided a pivotal moment in the tie. (Photo by Getty Images/Getty Images)

Simona Halep starred in her home town as Romania defeated Great Britain in a controversial Fed Cup World Group II Play-Off tie in Constanta.

Watch and bet on tennis live at bet365 > live streaming > tennis




About the tie...

Great Britain, one of only four nations to have played every year of the Fed Cup since the competition’s inception, are trying to make it back to the global groups of the competition for the first time since 1993.

Should Great Britain beat Romania in Constanta, they will advance to the World Group II in 2018 and have a chance to then play for promotion to the World Group – and with world no. 7 Johanna Konta in her best form yet after winning the Miami Open, new captain Anne Keothavong will be hopeful.

Great Britain are still heavy underdogs, however, with world no. 5 Simona Halep leading the home side as they hope to turn around a poor run of form. Great Britain can only boast one top-100 player, while Romanian captain Ilie Nastase has four ranked inside the top 70.

 

Romania vs Great Britain Fed Cup match schedule

Romania defeated Great Britain 3-2 to secure their place in the Fed Cup World Group II.

Latest Romania vs Great Britain Fed Cup results

Sunday

Romania 3-2 Great Britain

Following the unsavoury incidents involving Ilie Nastase on Saturday, Sunday thankfull went by without much drama, on court at least, as Romania dominated the reverse singles to win this controversial World Group II play-off. 

First up were the stars of the respective teams, Romania's Simona Halep, who also doubled as the local heroine, against Great Britain's Johanna Konta, who had been reduced to tears after being subjected to verbal abuse on Saturday. Halep recovered to defeat Sorana Cirstea on Saturday, but she faced an altogether different proposition in former French Open champion, Halep on Sunday. Halep was dialed in from the start, and quickly raced through the opening set 6-1.

Konta made more of a match of it in the second set, in fact, she led 3-1 at some point, but Halep's greater clay court expertise again came to the fore as she reeled off five straight games to win the match and give Romania a 2-1 lead, to the obvious delight of the Constanta crowd.

That left Irina-Camelia Begu with a chance to finish the job for the hosts. Begu had recovered from the stiff neck that kept her out of action on Saturday to take to the court against Heather Watson, and the Romanian just about maintained the upperhand in a topsy-turvy contest that featured many breaks of serves.

Begu won a tight contest 6-4 7-5 to confirm Romania's place in the World Group II.

Jocelyn Rae and Laura Robson then combined to beat Halep and stand-in captain, Monica Niculescu in the dead doubles' rubber.


Saturday

Romania 1-1 Great Britain

A dramatic first day in Constanta leaves hosts and visitors tied at 1-1 with all concerned feeling some trepidation about how Sunday's events will unfold.

Saturday started innocuously enough with Simona Halep, the world no. 5 and a superstar in Romania - particularly in her hometown of Constanta - overcoming a bright start from Heather Watson to claim the first rubber for Romania, 6-4, 6-1. Watson recovered an early break and fought hard, but Halep, who was playing her first clay-court match of 2017, started to really find her stride at 3-4, winning the next three games to take the first set with a clean forehand winner. She continued to step up the aggression and the gulf in class between her transition game and Watson's really started to show in the second set, with the British player swiftly falling away.

'I was a little nervous because I was home playing an official match after 10 years but she was feeling the wind and the game pretty well at the beginning but then I wanted to run forward but then I started to dominate and I managed to dominate the match,' Halep said.

With Romania leading 1-0, Sorana Cirstea took the court to face world no. 7 Johanna Konta. Cirstea replaced Irina-Camelia Begu, the original nomination, who was benched due to a stiff neck. Konta, playing her first match since winning the biggest title of her career at the Premier Mandatory-level Miami Open, took the first set 6-2 but things got ugly early in the second set when Romanian captain Nastase was sent first to the stands, and then ejected from the court after 'serious misconduct', including profane abuse directed at Konta, British captain Anne Keothavong and match officials. Cirstea broke for 3-1 in the second set, but an overwrought Konta started to cry and the match was suspended for around 20 minutes. On Konta's return, she won five straight games to level the tie with a 6-2, 6-3 win.


'The incident has slightly left me unnerved but I love the sport and that's why I'm here, to play... The abusive language of everybody there who was involved, snowballed... I think it got out of hand more than anything and I think that for tomorrow, we are 1-1 in the tie and both our team and the Romanian team, us players, we are here to compete and I'm sure I can speak for them when we say we just want to go out and compete,' Konta said.

The teams


Team Romania: Simona Halep, Monica Niculescu, Irina-Camelia Begu, Sorana Cirstea, Ilie Nastase (captain)

Team Great Britain: Johanna Konta, Heather Watson, Laura Robson, Jocelyn Rae, Anne Keothavong (captain)

Both Romania and Great Britain are looking to the leadership of a top-10 player – but the home side can boast a much deeper bench in support of their star, Simona Halep.

World no. 5 Halep hasn’t had the 2017 season she would have wished with a knee injury troubling her for much of the first two months, although she showed some decent form when she returned for Indian Wells and Miami. The former French Open runner-up will be gearing up for a major assault on the clay-court season but first hopes to lead Romania to victory in Constanta – she has a 12-5 record in Fed Cup singles, but often struggles against other top-10 players (Konta has won both their previous meetings).

Halep is supported by top-50 players Irina-Camelia Begu and Monica Niculescu, and the inconsistent but tremendously powerful Sorana Cirstea, currently ranked world no. 61. Konta on the other hand comes into this tie at a career-high world no. 7 after winning her biggest title yet at the Miami Open,  and continues to go from strength to strength, but her teammate Heather Watson is now ranked outside the top 100, Laura Robson has never really recovered from her wrist injury and Jocelyn Rae is solely useful as a doubles specialist. It will take a big team performance from Great Britain to overcome these odds in Constanta.

Fed Cup format

Fed Cup ties are played over the best of five rubbers over two days. Two singles rubbers are played on Saturday, followed by the reverse singles rubbers on Sunday with the tie going to a deciding doubles rubber if necessary.

Player nominations can be changed up until an hour before the start of play.

One nation hosts the tie, with the choice of ground decided by where the two competing teams played last time. Romania hosts Great Britain on the outdoor clay courts of Constanta.  

The winner of the Romania vs Great Britain World Group II play-off tie will compete in the eight-nation World Group II in 2018.

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Romania vs Great Britain Fed Cup news, matches and results: Halep stars as Romania beat Great Britain in controversial tie

Simona Halep starred in her home town as Romania defeated Great Britain in a controversial Fed Cup World Group II Play-Off tie in Constanta.

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