Tennis: Crucial win for British women

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Britain came from behind to beat Austria 2-1 in the European Women's Team Championship at Redbridge Sports Centre, Essex, yesterday and kept alive their hopes of winning the First Division title today.

The British victory left all four teams in the group with one win each from two matches. France, who had lost to Austria yesterday, gained a winning 2-0 lead over Sweden, who had beaten Britain 2-1 in their first match. Now, to gain promotion to the Champions' Division, Britain must beat France in their final match but, even if they do so, they will only go up if Austria also beat Sweden. If two teams finish level first on victories, the team that has won their individual match gains promotion and a Swedish win over Austria would scupper British hopes. Britain made a bad start when Julie Pullin, the Sussex player, was beaten 6-2, 6-1 by fellow left hander Barbara Schwartz. But Sam Smith, the British No 1 from Essex, put Britain back into the match with a 6-4, 6-2 victory over Patricia Wartusch and Pullin and Surrey's Lorna Woodroffe then defeated Schwartz and Wartusch 6-4, 7-5 in the deciding doubles.