Shoulder woe for Laura Robson mars Fed Cup win


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The Independent Online

Great Britain head into today's Fed Cup Europe/Africa Zone Group One promotion play-off with Bulgaria with a concern over Laura Robson, who picked up a shoulder injury in the 2-1 win over Hungary in Israel.

The winner will earn a World Group Two play-off in April, which could be Britain's first home tie for 20 years, but captain Judy Murray anticipates a difficult match against the Bulgarians.

"Today's win puts us top of Group B and sets up a promotion play-off with Group D winners Bulgaria," Murray said yesterday.

"Tsvetana Pironkova, a former Wimbledon semi-finalist, is their number one, so we are anticipating a tough battle."

Robson was injured as she and Heather Watson both won their singles matches before Britain lost the dead doubles rubber in Eilat.

The 19-year-old came back after failing to win a game in the first set to triumph 0-6 6-2 6-1 against Greta Arn, who is ranked 93 places below Robson in the world rankings at No 138.

But Robson, currently ranked 45th in the world, had to call on the trainer for treatment to a shoulder injury during the match.

Robson said: "After the first set I thought, this can't get any worse. I regrouped and played better in the second and third sets."

Watson, the world No 41, knowing that victory would guarantee Britain a play-off match with Bulgaria, had things much more her own way as she quickly dispatched Timea Babos, who herself needed treatment for a back injury, 6-3 6-2.

"I'm really pleased I played better today, especially mentally," the 20-year-old Watson said after the 84-minute victory.

"I got off to a good start and even when she got back to 3-3 I kept up the pressure. Then the second [set] was easier."

Robson and her partner, Johanna Konta, were unable to complete a whitewash as they suffered a 6-4 2-6 6-2 defeat at the hands of Reca-Luca Jani and Katalin Marosi in the doubles to leave the final match score 2-1 to Britain.

Bulgaria enjoyed a comfortable 3-0 win over Slovenia in a tie which was also saw a player compromised by injury. Dia Evitimova won 6-1 6-0 against Tina Rupert before Slovenia's Tjasa Srimpf retired after losing the first game of her match against Pironkova.

Elitsa Kostova and Isabella Shinikova were 6-2 6-3 winners over Andreja Klepac and Rupert in the doubles to complete the whitewash.