Fed Cup

04/17/2021 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 04/17/2021 09:23

Ruse keeps Romanian hopes alive against Italy

Elena Gabriela Ruse defeated Jasmine Paolini in three sets to record her first win for her country and keep Romania in contention in their Billie Jean King Cup by BNP Paribas Play-off with Italy in Cluj-Napoca.

Monica Niculescu's side have no room for error on Saturday after losing both singles matches on the opening day, and Ruse, brought in to replace debutant Irina Maria Bara following her defeat to Elisabetta Cocciaretto on Friday, stuck to her captain's revised script.

Despite a slow start, Ruse battled back to beat world No. 104 Paolini - ranked 64 spots above her - 1-6 6-3 6-4 in two hours and 32 minutes.

Paolini had also been a replacement, with Italy captain Tathiana Garbin bringing her in for the third match at the expense of a tired Martina Trevisan, who had pushed herself to the limit in her three-hour-seven-minute victory over Mihaela Buzarnescu the previous day.

The Italian was brimming with determination at the start of the match and, after breaking serve for a 3-1 lead following a length fourth game, she ran away with the opening set in 45 minutes.

Ruse raised her level from there on, dictating play and ultimately growing in confidence to pocket the next two sets and seal her first win in country colours, having lost to Russian Ekaterina Alexandrova in her only other singles appearance in the Billie Jean King Cup during last year's Qualifiers.

Buzarnescu, who is looking to end a four-match losing streak in singles competition for Romania - takes on Cocciaretto in the fourth match as she seeks to force a deciding doubles - and one that would likely see an appearance for player-captain Niculescu.