Brits trail Slovakia 2-0
• 3 MINUTE READ
It was a tough day for the GB Fed Cup Team on their opening day of their Fed Cup Finals qualifier against Slovakia.
British No.2 Heather Watson opened Great Britain's campaign, falling to an inspired Anna Karolina Schmiedlova in two sets, whilst Harriet Dart suffered a tight loss in a three-set thriller against Viktoria Kuzmova.
World No.74 Watson had been in strong form in her practice sessions at Bratislava's AXA Arena throughout the week, but world No.199 Schmiedlova found her feet on her favourite surface and captured a 6-2, 6-3 victory.
British No.3 Dart was up next, making her first Fed Cup singles appearance after making her debut last year in Bath where she picked up a 2/0 win/loss doubles record with Katie Swan.
The 23-year-old showed grit from the get go, saving three set points in the opening set to force a tie-break which she went on to win 7-3.
World No.65 Kuzmova battled back in the second to force a deciding set, where it went down to the wire with Dart saving five match points before the Slovak prevailed to triumph 6-7(3), 6-3, 7-5 in a match that was just five minutes shy of three hours, giving the Slovakian side a 2-0 lead.
Saturday will see Friday's singles rubbers reversed, with Watson taking on Kuzmova and Dart facing Schmiedlova, before the doubles rubber to conclude the tie.
The Brits are bidding to win a place in the new Fed Cup Finals, taking place in Budapest 14-19 April 2020.