Aegon GB Fed Cup Team’s hopes end with defeat to Belgium in Eilat

06/02/2016

| Federation Cup

The Aegon GB Fed Cup Team’s push for a World Group II play-off has ended in defeat to Belgium with Katie Swan and Heather Watson suffering three-set losses on Saturday morning.

Both singles players fought all the way against their higher ranked opponents but Great Britain’s wait for a first Fed Cup by BNP Paribas home tie since 1993 goes on.

Having beaten South Africa and Georgia earlier in the week, Judy Murray’s team had to beat the Belgian’s to progress but Swan went down 6-3, 3-6, 6-3 and Watson lost out 6-4, 3-6, 6-4.

Captain, Murray, said: "It wasn’t to be today, the Belgian team were a bit stronger than us unfortunately.

Judy Murray“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.”

7.40AM

Ysaline Bonaventure was a big favourite for the first match of the day with a world ranking 364 places above Katie Swan at No.160 and having won all five of her singles and doubles matches in Israel.

Katie SwanThe more experienced Belgian took the match 6-3, 3-6, 6-3 in 1 hour 38 minutes but only after a serious fight from the young British player.

Bonaventure broke three times to take the opener but Swan, enjoying her debut in the competition, played a fantastic second set to break twice and level proceedings.

Into a decider we went and Bonaventure took the momentum when holding serve from 15-40 to lead 3-1 and despite Swan battling to break twice she couldn’t close the gap.

Britain’s youngest ever Fed Cup player 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.”

9.30AM

Heather Watson was also up against a higher ranked opponent in Alison Van Uytvanck and the duo had never met before on the WTA Tour.

Heather WatsonA gruelling 2 hour 28 minute battle followed but it was the Belgian who prevailed 6-4, 3-6, 6-4 to send her country through to the World Group II play-offs.

The world No.43 raced into a 2-0 lead and despite being pegged back to 4-4, she won the last two games to take the advantage.

When she went a break up early in the second she looked on course for victory but Watson had other ideas, fighting back to 3-3, saving break points to hold for 4-3 before winning the next two games.

We were into another third set and the British No.2 powered into a 3-1 lead and then held serve from 0-40 to lead 4-2 but Van Uytvanck wasn’t finished and roared back to win the next four games and seal a big win.

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