British women back in top flight

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The Independent Online

British number one Louise Latimer believes team spirit was the secret behind the women's promotion to the Premier Division of the European Women's Team Championship.

British number one Louise Latimer believes team spirit was the secret behind the women's promotion to the Premier Division of the European Women's Team Championship.

Britain's girls flew home yesterday after their thrilling weekend success in the four nations round robin event in Luxembourg.

The Britons finished top of the section, claiming promotion in a cliffhanger at the expense of Slovenia.

Slovenia looked odds on to deny Great Britain promotion when the East Europeans led 2-0 going into their final match against the British side.

Then Hannah Collin, the newly crowned national singles champion, and Julie Pullin needed to win their final match in straight sets against Tina Hergold and Maja Matevzic to clinch promotion.

They managed to do so in a nail-biting game 7-6 (6/4) 7-6 (7/5).

The margin of victory could not have been closer with Britain going into the top flight of women's European tennis by virtue of set one in the Luxembourg tournament.

Britain had opened their account in Luxembourg with a 3-0 victory against Sweden before edging out the host nation 2-1.

Latimer, the world number 139, claimed a scalp of her own when she beat Swede Asa Carlsson as Britain beat the Swedes 3-0.

Latimer said: "There is a really good spirit in the team and it is a great feeling to get promotion.

"All of us were really proud to represent our country and it is a great achievement to return to the top division."

The Lawn Tennis Association's women's national training manager Keith Wooldridge said: "It is an exciting way to get promotion and this has been a great experience for the girls."

Britain will now face stiffer opposition next winter when they go into a series of groups in the Premier Division against the likes of Germany, France and the Czech Republic.

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