Simona Halep and Ashleigh Barty inspire Romania and Australia to huge Fed Cup wins

Ashleigh Barty Fed Cup

Simona Halep won a titanic Fed Cup tussle with Karolina Pliskova to lead Romania into the semi-finals, where they will be joined by an Ashleigh Barty-inspired Australia.

The former world number one won a two-and-a-half-hour epic against Pliskova 6-4, 7-5, 6-4 to put Romania one win away from qualification.

Katerina Siniakova kept the Czech’s hopes alive by leveling the tie, but Irina Begu and Monica Niculescu defeated Barbora Krejcikova and Katerina Siniakova 6-7 (2), 6-4, 6-4, to seal victory.

Elsewhere, Ashleigh Barty was Australia’s star player as they ground out an impressive 3-2 win over the USA.

Starting the day level at 1-1, Barty put the Aussies on the brink of victory by beating Madison Keys 6-4, 6-1, before Danielle Collins beat Daria Gavrilova to send it to a deciding rubber.

Barty was again the difference-maker, teaming with Priscilla Hon to score a doubles victory over Nicole Melichar and Collins.

“We’ve had a hell of a weekend and there’s absolutely nothing better than coming out and playing a live tie for your country,” Barty said.

In the semi-finals, Australia will face Belarus while France meet Romania.

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