Fed Cup: Czech Republic overcomes Romania 3-2

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Pliskova and Strycova won the deciding rubber over Mitu and Olaru. (AP Photo)

BUCHAREST, Romania (AP) -- Defending champion Czech Republic beat host Romania 3-2 Sunday to advance to the semifinals of the Fed Cup.

Karolina Pliskova again won her singles rubber of the first-round match, defeating Monica Niculescu 6-4, 4-6, 6-3 after playing for more than 2 1/4 hours.

Pliskova later returned to team up with Barbora Strycova for a 6-2, 6-3 win in the deciding doubles rubber over Romanians Andreea Mitu and Raluca Olaru in just 74 minutes.

The victory means the Czech Republic will meet Switzerland in April's semifinals.

Earlier Sunday, third-ranked Simona Halep moved Romania ahead after winning a three-set fight against Petra Kvitova 6-4, 3-6, 6-3 in the Transylvanian city of Cluj.

Pliskova and Strycova also won the decisive doubles rubber in the 2015 Fed Cup Final in Prague.

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