Omni Sports: France, Romania head for Fed Cup semi-final decider

Omni Sports: France, Romania head for Fed Cup semi-final decider

Simona Halep was in fine form for Romania as she beat Kristina Mladenovic in straight sets, but France fought back to draw level at 1-1 in the Fed Cup semi-finals.

France, who won the competition in 1997 and 2003, will visit Australia in the November 9-10 final.

The Australians advanced to the final for the first time since 1993, beating Belarus 3-2 on hard courts at the Pat Rafter Arena in Brisbane.

Halep and Niculescu began in dazzling fashion, taking the opening set but the French pair replied in style, levelling the score after striking 25 winners in the second set.

Looking to put her country in the Fed Cup final for the first time, Simona Halep got off to the ideal start.

"Every match was incredible", said Benneteau. Garcia produced a rock-solid performance to dismantle the challenge of Buzarnescu in one hour, 27 minutes on the clay surface in the Normandy city of Rouen as two-time champions France bid for their sixth final. "But now we will have a good night".

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"I have won a Grand Slam, been world number one and now this is the next goal", Halep told fedcup.com after her eighth successive win in the tournament which last saw Romania make the final in 1973. "She started very fast, hitting the ball very strong, and I think I was a bit slow".

France has won the Fed Cup twice while Romania, which beat defending champion Czech Republic in the last eight, has never reached the final.

Mladenovic had won three of her five encounters with Halep but today struggled in her service games and did not have the tools to stop the Romanian steamroller.

For late call-up Parmentier, victory represented a rare singles success. "I didn't sleep very well, and I was awake pretty early, ready to play".

"Coming in, playing in front of your home crowd, the expectation, needing to win, she handled it like another match, a first-round match, it was fantastic. It's an wonderful feeling".

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