Jacks fall back on points but make up for it in team spirit
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With the points on offer raking up, the stage was set for last night’s resurgent Union Jacks to keep flying proud – and they started off famously snapping up five of the first seven points on offer, on a day where the brutally hot conditions dulled the enthusiastic support of the teams.
However, the Bulldogs just started to creep back into it, with handy wins in particular for Cam Norrie, Liam Broady and Harriet Dart for a three-point mixed doubles boost and perhaps more importantly some revenge served up from Kyle Edmund to Dan Evans.
"I played him last couple of days and also of the final [of the first Battle of the Brits] and both times lost.
"Today was a good example because I lost, and then used the information from losing to him to put it right today."
Yesterday’s star player Heather Watson opted for safety first. As keen as she is to get in as many matches before heading to Lexington to start her season proper – after two very physical matches yesterday, Watson wasted no time in despatching Maia Lumsden for the loss of just one game.
She said: “Before lockdown I was playing this type of tennis and super aggressive and coming to the net, just really good tennis basically and I think I just needed to get past those first two matches get the belief back, because I've never spent that long away from playing tennis and from the match court. It was a new experience and I'm glad that I've sort of picked up where I left off.
“I’ve played every day. I want to play as many matches as possible but I'm being smart about it as well. I'm pretty tough like that. I can play day in, day out. I'm quite used to it. Playing long through the week and these are the only matches I've had going into Lexington so I want to make the most of it.”
Although the Jacks have hauled back what looked like an Everest-like deficit, in Watson’s mind the Jacks’ are already winners.
She continued: “You know what? The Jacks have the best team spirit. We've got some great characters on our team and if you're not looking at points, as far as team spirit goes, we've already won the competition (laughs).
There will be more points up for grabs as the weekend action intensifies.