Britain's Fed Cup squad manage to miss relegation play-off despite loss

Derrick Whyte
Saturday 23 April 2005 00:00
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Great Britain's Fed Cup squad have retained their place in the Euro-African Zone Group I for another year.

Great Britain's Fed Cup squad have retained their place in the Euro-African Zone Group I for another year.

Nick Brown's team secured third place in their four-team pool after three days of action in Antalya, Turkey. Despite defeats for Elena Baltacha and Anne Keothavong yesterday as Britain lost to Serbia & Montenegro, Thursday's win over Denmark ensured they avoided being drawn into a relegation play-off.

"We are a bit disappointed with our result today," Brown said, "but we came up with the goods when we needed to. Anne and Elena are improving their game on clay. We have got to focus on getting out of this group. Most countries have at least one player in the top 100 so that is what we have to try to do."

Keothavong went down 2-6, 6-3, 6-4, to Serbia's Dragana Zaric while Baltacha - currently world-ranked 119 - was defeated 4-6, 6-3, 6-0 by Ana Timotic.

Having been well beaten on the opening day by Slovenia, the British team had responded well with Keothavong and Baltacha both winningto seal the crucial 2-1 win over the Danes.

* Juan Carlos Ferrero's revival continued with an enthralling 6-4, 4-6, 6-3 victory over Gaston Gaudio yesterday which earned him a place in the semi-finals of the Barcelona Open. The Spaniard showed he is recovering the sort of form that saw him win the French Open in 2003 with a superb display against the secondseeded Argentinian.

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