ProSport brings you unique images with the Romanian team shortly after the end of the press conference held by Mihaela Buzărnescu and Horia Tecău at the end of the play-off day, at the end of which Poland leads 2-0.
Irina Begu was carried on her arms by Andreea Mitu so that they could be embraced in the emotion of the moment of attachment, emotion and devotion to the admiration of the entire delegation: coaches, physiotherapist, sparring-partner , doctor, physical trainer.
Exhausted after 5 weeks of tournaments in North America (Indian Wells, Miami, Charleston), with radically different surfaces and playing conditions, Irina Begu was the only top player in Romania not to have said “NO” to a Fed Cup domestic events shaken up of a unique situation in the history of the team.
Simona Halep and Jaqueline Cristian are recovering from injuries or surgery, Sorana Cîrstea – retired from the national team, Gabriela Ruse – untreated after pneumonia and Covid, which caused the identification of a form of myocarditis (inflammation of the heart, chest pain, difficulty in breathing and feeling that the heart is beating too fast).
- Ana Bogdan, Irina Bara and Alexandra Cadanțu preferred to play lower category tournaments, while Irina Fetecău strives to be guaranteed to still be able to play tennis from the US Open (August 2022) after the surgery on his right knee.
- If Monica Niculescu was found with Covid exactly on her arrival in Radom, the place of the play-off for the qualification in the World Group, Raluca Olaru lived through moments of horror after contacting the Sar-Cov 19 virus. Niculescu in the Fed Cup after 15 years (they had not played in the national team since 2007), Olaru could not get up, even risking emergency hospitalization, even before the team’s flight to Poland despite the 7 quarantine days carried out in his own apartment in Bucharest.
Exciting footage with Irina Begu and Andreea Mitu at the end of Fed Cup Day 1
Forced by the “kissing disease” (infectious mononucleosis which caused a thyroid disease) to return only after three years of absence in the national “Federation Cup”, Begu felt the burden a huge responsibility doubled by Horia Tecău’s debut as non-player captain:
Were there any difficulties adapting to the not always usual atmosphere induced by a capital game?
It was a slower start to the game, not necessarily tricky, slow, but I’m glad I started to find myself in the second set. I started to find my rhythm. Since I played the last tournament on slag, the movements on the court are different. I tried to fight as hard as possible. I’m happy to have managed to serve better from the second set and, to a certain extent, to take the advantage with the first ball.
A second set with which you restarted the match even if you made 6 double faults…
I tried to find my rhythm at work. Basically, I tried to serve more with the “first”, to be more aggressive, to increase the speed on the first serve so that the second ball was easier for me and, from there, to build and develop. open my land. Basically I tried to increase my percentage and I succeeded at many times. I’m sorry that in the third set I failed to get that ball at 1-1. I think the situation would have been a bit different if I had managed to get that ball back.”
In the decisive, at 1-1, it was a turning point that “runs”, played and missed, at 40-30…
I don’t necessarily know the turn, but it was an important moment and I’m sorry I couldn’t have that ball. My confidence would surely have increased and I would have been much more aggressive in the next lap. It was the moment, I missed it a little!
Emotionally, did you expect to play, even outside, with several Romanians in the stands?
Throughout my career, I have had the honor of going to the four corners of the world where many Romanians come to support us. At the Fed Cup, I was used, whether we played in the Czech Republic or in Canada, to have a lot of Romanians and to support us. So I have a lot of good memories and I will definitely keep them for me
What tactic do you use against a player like Linette?
You read the body language, you anticipate the trajectory of the ball so that you position yourself on the pitch according to the dynamics imposed by its jump and especially by its depth. The movement is necessary not only back and forth but also sideways, especially when the Pole generated a top-spin which caused the ball to jump: Irina was not only put on the defensive but was forced to fall back far behind the baseline, where most of the time in tie-breaking rallies, she was set or forced to risk being hit at the “out boundary”.
You need perfect synchronization between the trajectory of the ball and that of the rocket.
I didn’t necessarily feel physical, but there was a time when certain thoughts crossed my mind. I am proud of what I have been able to do during all these years. I came and I was a team player, I tried to give my best for the Fed Cup matches. Fortunately, I managed to live extraordinary moments. I will never forget the Fed Cup matches, those in Cluj, those in Rouen, France, the match in the Czech Republic. These are memories that will remain and will be part of my career. It was a slightly different game because there weren’t as many Romanians in the stands as before. All in all, it was an amazing year and I have these memories
- Just before the match with Linette, Begu witnessed a rare event in tennis after Simona Halep had the national anthem sung by an entire arena filled with 15,000 spectators at “Roland Garros” 2018: After the Singing of the Romanian anthem, the organizers of Radom failed to record the Polish anthem.
For 32 seconds the audience watched in dismay, but the chilling delicacy of the moment was saved by the more than 6,000 spectators who began to sing the Polish national anthem then, recording on the CD, dubbed the voice spectators who sang another song. verse than the official audio standard printed and released on disc.