France and Romania level at 1-1 in Fed Cup semifinal
ROUEN, France (AP) — Caroline Garcia beat Mihaela Buzarnescu 6-3, 6-3 to draw France level at 1-1 with Romania after the opening singles matches of their Fed Cup semifinal on Saturday.
French Open champion Simona Halep had put Romania ahead with a commanding 6-3, 6-1 win against Kristina Mladenovic on indoor clay at the Kindarena in Rouen, northwest France.
Mladenovic, whose ranking position has plummeted from 10th to 66th in the space of two years, conceded 17 break-point chances on her serve. She also made 35 unforced errors, compared to 19 for the second-ranked Halep.
No. 21-ranked Garcia was also dominant, breaking Buzarnescu’s serve five times.
Following the reverse singles on Sunday, Garcia and Mladenovic will take on Irina-Camelia Begu and Monica Niculescu in the doubles.
France has won the Fed Cup twice while Romania, which beat defending champion Czech Republic in the last eight, has never reached the final.
They are meeting for only the second time, with Romania having won in 1976.
In the other semifinal, Australia and Belarus are 1-1 on hard courts at the Pat Rafter Arena in Brisbane.
The winners meet in the final on Nov. 9-10, with Australia playing at home if it advances.