• Fed Cup

Great Britain suffer play-off defeat

ESPN staff
April 21, 2013
Laura Robson could not find away past the impressive Paula Ormaechea © Getty Images

Great Britain suffered a shock defeat to Argentina in their Fed Cup World Group II play-off as Laura Robson lost 4-6 6-4 2-6 to Paula Ormaechea before Elena Baltacha fell 5-7 6-1 1-6 to Maria Irigoyen, giving Argentina a deciding 3-1 lead.

In the first of two singles rubbers on Sunday, British no. 1 Robson continued to struggle with her serve, hitting eight double-faults as Ormaechea, ranked 105 places below her British counterpart, took victory to put Argentina within a point of victory at the Parque Roca in Buenos Aires.

The Argentinian took the first set before Robson replied with some powerful shots to level up, but the Brit could not prevent defeat as problems with her serve proved costly on the clay.

Both team captains then made changes for the final singles rubber, as Baltacha replaced Johanna Konta with Judy Murray opting for the former's experience; Irigoyen was preferred to Florencia Molinero late on.

Irigoyen edged a tight opening set, as both players traded five breaks in a row. The Argentinian forced an error on the lob from Baltacha, and then made it count by holding her serve to take the lead.

Baltacha responded, fighting back from an early break in the second to level but suffered a leg injury in the process; the trainer was called on at the changeover after the Brit levelled the match, and Irigoyen took full advantage in the decider.

Baltacha began to fade in the final set as Irigoyen raced into a 5-1 lead, before hitting a forehand winner to finish the match and seal a place for Argentina in the World Group II.

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