British ladies come up short in Fed Cup clash with Sweden

British ladies come up short in Fed Cup clash with Sweden

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UPDATED:

19:31 GMT, 21 April 2012

They came into the arena jigging to The Beatles' Twist And Shout but left in rather more subdued fashion, Great Britain's Fed Cup team knowing they have a mountain to climb.

In what is the female equivalent of the Davis Cup, with promotion to next year's elite 16-team World Group at stake, they ended the day 2-0 down to Sweden with three matches to play.

The Beatles accompanied entry, homage to the Fab Four's appearance at the Borsahalle in 1963, turned out to be the highlight of the day for Britain as first-choice singles players Elena Baltacha and Anne Keothavong failed to win a set between them.

Not enough: Elena Baltacha in action against Johanna Larsson

Not enough: Elena Baltacha in action against Johanna Larsson

Captain Judy Murray said 18-year-old
Laura Robson could be thrown in now to try to score an upset singles win
that would keep the tie alive, with a slight foot injury being carried
by Heather Watson meaning she will play only doubles.

Swedish No 1 Sofia Arvidsson, ranked
54, is first up today after dismissing Keothavong 6-1, 6-4 to compound
the damage done by Baltacha's 6-1, 7-5 defeat against the home No 2,
Johanna Larsson in front of the watching Duchess of Gloucester.

Murray's gamble of sticking with
Baltacha despite a shortage of matches did not come off, while
Keothavong was overpowered by Arvidsson.

No sulking: Elena Baltacha with Great Britain couch Judy Murray (left)

No sulking: Elena Baltacha with Great Britain couch Judy Murray (left)

'I have a big decision to make overnight,' said Murray. 'Laura showed me what she can do when we played group matches in February. I think she has got a big-match mentality.'

When GB unexpectedly came through the group stages in Israel, Baltacha won all three of her matches. But she has won only one tour-level match since, partly due to an ankle injury event two weeks ago.

The subsequent anxiety was evident.

'The ankle was an issue before coming here, but it has been fine this week and I was ready to go,' said Baltacha