If the first week of Fed Cup this year is any indication, fans of the international team competition will have a lot to look forward to in 2019.
From history-making moments to breakthrough performances to shocking upsets, the players put on a show as they strive for the title. Check out five of the biggest storylines and feats from the past few days.
Home-Court Advantage Gone
Playing in the friendly confines of home didn’t do any of the hosts any favors this weekend as the visitors captured all of the ties to book their spots in the semifinals, including France’s 3-1 score over Belgium.
Double the Pleasure
Two of the ties went to the deciding doubles rubbers: In a huge surprise, two-time Grand Slam champs Katerina Siniakova and Barbora Krejcikova of the Czech Republic fell to Romania’s Irina-Camelia Begu and Monica Niculescu. The final rubber of the day saw the Aussie team of Ashleigh Barty and Priscilla Hon top the U.S. tandem of Danielle Collins and Nicole Melichar.
A Long Time Coming
By the way, that clincher by Begu and Niculescu sealed Romania’s first-ever berth in the World Group semifinals. It was an all-around team effort as the two teams split the singles rubbers, which included the heavyweight bout between Simona Halep and Karolina Pliskova. That match lived up to the hype as Halep won through in more than two-and-a-half hours.
Big Wins in the Playoffs
Starting before the weekend World Group ties, the playoff matches were chock full of drama and awe-inspiring performances, with Johanna Konta of Great Britain’s victory against Serbia’s Aleksandra Krunic in three sets among them.
Did Someone Say Hot Shots?
Playing with international bragging rights on the line will bring out the best in any player and these racquet wizards are no exception.
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