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China withdraws from Davis Cup tie due to coronavirus, Romania advance

(Reuters) - China have withdrawn from a Davis Cup tie due to the coronavirus epidemic, the International Tennis Federation (ITF) said on Tuesday, adding that Romania will advance to the World Group I as a result.

The Chinese team were due to travel to Romania for a March 6-7 playoff but will be unable to do so due to “increased restrictions” in response to the outbreak, the ITF said in a statement on Twitter .

“Romania will advance to play in World Group I in September,” the statement added.

The coronavirus outbreak has killed nearly 1,900 people and infected more than 70,000 in China.

The World Group I playoffs and 2020 Davis Cup qualifiers will both be held on March 6 and 7.

The winning countries from the playoffs and the losing countries from the qualifiers - 24 teams in all - advance to the World Group I ties in September.

Winners of the World Group I ties advance to the 2021 Davis Cup qualifiers, and the losing nations have to contest the World Group I playoffs in 2021.

Reporting by Simon Jennings in Bengaluru; Editing by Hugh Lawson

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