Watson’s efforts not enough for GB in Fed Cup tie

Heather Watson's victory over Rebecca Sramkova was in vain as Great Britain failed to reach the inaugural Fed Cup finals by losing their qualifying tie to Slovakia 3-1.

After Watson and Harriet Dart lost their opening singles matches on Friday, the former kept Great Britain in the tie with a 6-0 7-5 win over Sramkova in the reverse tie on Saturday.

But Dart, who was making her singles debut at the tournament in Bratislava, lost 7-5 6-3 to Anna Karolina Schmiedlova in the next match to give Slovakia a 3-1 lead, and therefore the win.

Slovakia qualify for April’s finals in Budapest as a result, while GB will play a qualifying tie to get back to this same stage in next year’s competition and avoid dropping back to where they started last year in Group I.

Watson opened the Fed Cup tie with a 6-2 6-3 defeat to world number 199 Schmiedlova, before Dart put in a battling three-set performance before eventually losing to Slovakian number one Viktoria Kuzmova.

Dart then fought hard against Schmiedlova on Saturday, but the Slovakian showed her class again and the 23-year-old Brit was not able to take the tie to a deciding doubles in just her second time playing on clay.

Sportsbeat 2020