The semi-final clash of the Fed Cup World Group between France and Romania will take place in Rouen on Saturday and Sunday, with world no. 2 Simona Halep leading her squad against the composed French team. Embracing her eighth Fed Cup campaign this season, Simona was the most reliable link in the Romanian triumph over the Czech Republic and she has won the last six singles rubbers after a loss to Angelique Kerber in 2016.
Overall, Roland Garros champion has won 18 of 23 Fed Cup singles rubbers and she is hoping for more success this weekend, seeking the first Fed Cup final for Romania. Back in 1973, they were the semi-finalists on Fed Cup debut and it was another Roland Garros winner Virginia Ruzici who conquered all four rubbers that year to propel her team into the semis, losing to South Africa 2-1.
Gathering some valuable tips and advice from the older compatriot, Simona is ready to give her best against the French rivals and carry Romania towards the most significant result in Fed Cup, using the momentum from that epic win in the Czech Republic and seeking more of the same in Rouen.
“Virginia Ruzici played in the Fed Cup semis and I asked her about her experience,” said Halep. “She was pretty relaxed in the past and not so stressed like us now, but she said that it is a nice feeling and also that to play for your country is good and gives you more energy.
She also said that as far as she knows I love to play for my country, and so therefore I will be fine. It was the best moment when we won the doubles and I was jumping around as I was so happy. It was a great performance for us to beat the Czech Republic but the trophy is still far away so we cannot relax or think about it.
We need to refocus now, forget that match and take the positive things and confidence. I’m very excited and I am looking forward to the tie. I want to win. I want to win my matches and help my country. It is going to be a tough match because they are tough opponents and are strong in the doubles, but we will see. I will focus just on myself for the moment. The atmosphere of the team will be good and we will fight together”.