By Ros Satar
- Belgium defeat GB in the final pool stage 2-0
- Katie Swan & Heather Watson pushed their opponents to three sets
EILAT, ISRAEL – Great Britain Fed Cup team were edged by Belgium in two tight ties as the wait to get out of the Europe/Africa Group continues.
After an outstanding debut for teenager and junior star Katie Swan, it was a brave fight to start the day against the World 160 Ysaline Bonaventure, coming in without having conceded a single set this week.
The same could be said of Swan, who won both her early rounds in straight sets, and had to dg deep after being broken three times in the first set. Swan fought back to level the match, but a decisive break for a 3-1 lead kept the youngster at bay.
Speaking to the LTA, Swan said: “It has been a really good week and I am proud that I fought all the way. There are a lot of positives I can take from here. I learned so much and had so much fun this week with the team.”
Heather Watson faced Alison Van Uytvanck for the first time in their careers, and they fought it out for just shy of two and a half hours, with the Belgian taking an early break in the first set and keeping that advantage despite Watson pulling her back to 4-4.
The Belgian went up a break early in the second but Watson broke to level at 3-3 staving off break points to take the lead and then push ahead to level the match. Watson had the momentum at the start of the third set, but the Belgian won four games at a sprint to send Belgium into the play-offs.
Fed Cup Captain Judy Murray spoke to the LTA, with the final doubles rubber not being played.
She said: “Katie kicked us off very impressively with the ranking gap and her being as young as she is. She acquitted herself incredibly well this week both on and off the court, it was fabulous to have her with the team.
“Heather was playing some really world class tennis when she went ahead in the third set, dictating and controlling the ball, but backed up a bit in the key moments and her opponent came up with some big serves.
“All in all, there are lots of things to be pleased about but we are very disappointed we didn’t get out of this zone, we have been stuck in here for years and I am fed up of it!
“Next year we want a full team out, get out of the zone into the World Group to have some home and away ties, and really showcase British women’s tennis to the fans in Britain.”
The World Group II Play-offs are scheduled for April.
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