HALEP TO START AGAINST WATSON IN CONSTANTA
Hometown favourite Simona Halep, the world No. 5, will open Romania’s Fed Cup by BNP Paribas World Group II play-off tie against Great Britain’s Heather Watson in the Black Sea port city of Constanta, the city of her birth, on Saturday but says she is just a little anxious about the occasion.
"The last time I played an official match here was 10 years ago. I am a little nervous about the occasion, to be honest ... but I hope that tomorrow before the match, I'll put the emotions aside and will go on court to do my best," Halep told Fedcup.com.
The world No. 5, leading captain and legend Ilie Nastase’s team, is looking to maintain her undefeated record against Watson – ranked 108 places below her – when they meet for the fourth time in Saturday’s first rubber.
Halep has won both of their more recent meetings in straight sets - at Roland Garros in 2014 and Miami in 2016, following a three-set tussle in their first contest at the 2013 US Open.
But Watson, who has an outstanding recent Fed Cup record for Great Britain said she was not overawed by the occasion.
"I'm not at all (daunted) by being first up, I usually am the first one on court, I'm playing well and I look forward to the challenge," she said.
Saturday's second rubber will be uncharted territory for Konta and Irina-Camelia Begu when the pair meet for the first time.