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Watson is ‘gutted’ to be missing out

Sport | Published:

HEATHER WATSON could be forced to miss all of Great Britain’s series of important Fed Cup ties taking place this week.

A happy Heather Watson wins her opening rubber for Great Britain against Portugal in the Fed Cup Europe/Africa zonal tie in Tallinn, Estonia, 07-02-18..Picture @BritishTennis. (23839727)

The Sarnian was absent from the GB team for the second day running yesterday as they entertained Greece in front of a packed crowd at Bath University.

Watson was initially declared unfit to play against Slovenia on Wednesday having felt unwell, with GB team captain Anne Keothavong saying she was suffering with ‘more than just a cold’.

The exact nature of her ailment remains something of a mystery, with Watson choosing to stay back at the team’s hotel rather than cheer on her teammates courtside.

‘She’s absolutely gutted not to be here, but she needs to do what she has to do in order to try and get fit,’ added Keothavong.

‘Heather’s been such a big part of this team for so long, and is still very much part of the team, but she needs time to recover.

‘I’d like to see her play a part here, we all would, but time will tell.

‘She’s still with us, and that’s important.’

In Watson’s absence Johanna Konta and Katie Boulter having been in singles action, with Harriet Dart and Katie Swan taking on the doubles duties.

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Watson’s current world ranking of 110, inferior to that of both Konta and Boulter, always meant she was an outsider for one of the two available singles berths.

However, she was expected to feature in doubles combat given her impressive form in pairs competitions stretching back over a number of years.

GB is one of eight nations competing in Bath fighting it out for just one qualification place into the Fed Cup World Group II Play Offs in April.

Split into two round-robin groups, each nation plays two singles and one doubles match against the other three countries in their respective halves, with the two group winners advancing to tomorrow’s final to determine who lands the sole qualification spot.

Having already played Slovenia and Greece, GB face Hungary later this afternoon in a tie which could determine who progresses from Group A into the final.

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