Romania lost 1-3 to Italy in the Billie Jean King Cup World Group play-off, after Elisabetta Cocciaretto defeated Mihaela Buzarnescu on Saturday 5-7, 6-7 (5). Earlier in the day, the hopes of the Romanian team had briefly rekindled after Elena Gabriela Ruse took down Jasmine Paolini, 1-6, 6-3, 6-4, but the final match killed off the chance for a Romanian comeback.
In the first singles matches on Friday, Elisabetta Cocciaretto beat Irina Maria Bara 6-1, 6-4, and Martina Trevisan defeated Mihaela Buzarnescu 6-2, 2-6, 7- 6 (5) in an epic encounter, agerpres.ro confirms.
Following this result Romania lost its place in the World Group and will now compete in 2022 in the Europe-Africa Group 1.
Romania's and Italy's teams have faced each other three times so far, with Italy leading 2-1 in head-to-head matches. Italy won 2-1 in 1975, in the second round of the World Group in Aix-en-Provence (France), with the pair Virginia Ruzici/Mariana Simionescu scoring for our team. Romania's only victory was a 2-1 in 1978, in Melbourne, in the first round of the World Group, with Virginia Ruzici and the Ruzici/Simionescu pairing sealing the wins. The last encounter took place in 1997, in Bari, when Italy won again 2-1 in the first round of Group I of the Europe/Africa zone. Alina Tecsor obtained the only victory of our team.
The women's tennis team competition was last year renamed from Fed Cup to Billie Jean King to honour the American tennis great.