GB's Fed Cup promotion hopes crushed by Belgium

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Great Britain's hopes of earning promotion in the Fed Cup came to an end with defeat to Belgium in their promotion play-off in Israel on Saturday.

Belgium took an unassailable 2-0 lead in the tie with victories for Ysaline Bonaventure and Alison van Uytvanck over Katie Swan and Heather Watson respectively, with the dead-rubber doubles match not played.

Swan, who became Britain's youngest ever Fed Cup player following Johanna Konta's withdrawal, battled back from losing the first set to level the opening singles match against Bonaventure.

However, the 16-year-old, who r eached the Australian Open girls' final in 2015, could not maintain the momentum and Bonaventure, who is ranked more than 360 places higher than Swan, eventually won 6-3 3-6 6-3.

Watson also recovered from losing the opening set and was a break up in the decider before Van Uytvanck reeled off the last three games in succession to win 6-4 3-6 6-4.

Despite missing out on a World Group II play-off place, Great Britain captain Judy Murray praised her team, who had beaten South Africa and Georgia earlier in the week.

"She acquitted herself incredibly well," Murray said of debutant Swan. "She lost in three sets today to a player ranked over 350 places above her, so that was a huge positive."

Speaking about Watson, Murray added on the Fed Cup website: " It's never easy to lead your team. For the second set and most of the third she played some exceptional tennis, way, way above her ranking. When it came to the end she got a little bit edgy and Van Uytvanck stayed strong and managed to come through it."

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