Fed Cup: Simona Halep headlines strong Romanian team for tie against Great Britain

Fed Cup: Simona Halep headlines strong Romanian team for tie against Great Britain

Halep is joined by Irina-Camelia Begu, Monica Niculescu, and Sorana Cirstea as captain Ilie Nastase nominates a strong team for the World Group II Playoff tie.

oliver-dickson-jefford
Oliver Dickson Jefford

Simona Halep will be in action in her home town of Constanta next weekend as she headlines a very strong Romanian team for their World Group II Playoff tie against Great Britain in the Fed Cup, with the top four players in terms of singles rankings in the team.

Captain Ilie Nastase was without Halep in February as the team fell 3-1 to Belgium, forcing them into the Playoffs, though the former French Open finalist will be in action on clay, her strongest surface, as she looks to put in some good performances following a difficult season so far.

Alongside Halep, Nastase has been able to choose a strong team, with Irina-Camelia Begu, Monica Niculescu, and the resurgent Sorana Cirstea also called up; all three were in action in their home loss to Belgium back in February.

Team look to avoid falling from World Group level

The Romanian Fed Cup team returned to the World Group level of the competition in 2014 after a 15 year absence, and the team will be hoping to retain their place after a disappointing run of results.

Monica Niculescu and Irina-Camelia Begu, who will both be in action, playing doubles at the Internazionali BNL d'Italia (Getty/Matthew Lewis)
Monica Niculescu and Irina-Camelia Begu, who will both be in action, playing doubles at the Internazionali BNL d'Italia (Getty/Matthew Lewis)

The team made the World Group following two wins in 2015, though have now lost their last three ties (against the Czech Republic and Germany, and Belgium this year) and will be desperate to avoid four losses; they do, however, have arguably the strongest team available.

Despite struggling this season, Halep is usually a strong clay court player and the surface does give both her and the rest of the team and advantage, with Begu and Cirstea also having success on clay in the past.  

Meanwhile, though Begu, Cirstea, and Niculescu all lost singles rubbers against Belgium, Cirstea and Niculescu teamed up to ease through the doubles rubber and will be confident after dropping just two games the last time they played together.

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