BELGIUM STUNS ROMANIA TO TAKE CONTROL ON OPENING DAY
Kirsten Flipkens and Yanina Wickmayer delivered a perfect opening day for Belgium on its return to World Group II, defeating Monica Niculescu and Sorana Cirstea to put the visitors 2-0 up
Underdogs Belgium stormed into a shock 2-0 lead against hosts Romania in their Fed Cup by BNP Paribas World Group II tie as Yanina Wickmayer beat Sorana Cirstea 76(4) 57 75 after Kirsten Flipkens blew away more fancied Monica Niculescu 63 64 in the opening singles on Saturday.
The outcomes will have left Romania team captain Ilie Nastase, a former US Open and French Open winner making his debut as Fed Cup captain, pondering over his decision to leave out Romania’s top-ranked player Irina-Carmelia Begu out of the singles for reasons he declined to explain prior to the tie.
Begu may still feature in one of Sunday’s reverse singles while she has also been nominated to play in the potentially decisive doubles, but either way Romania now face a mountain to climb if they are to haul themselves back into the contest.
“Both rubbers today came down to a few points, especially Sorana’s against Yanina, and all we can do now is hope that we win the remaining three matches to turn the contest around,” Nastase told reporters.