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Fed Cup team will fight Argentina for promotion in World Group II play-offs

Fed Cup to fight Argentina for promotion in World Group II play-offs

By
Liv Lee

PUBLISHED:

10:51 GMT, 13 February 2013

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UPDATED:

12:14 GMT, 13 February 2013

The Fed Cup team's next opponent has been announced and the British squad will take on Argentina on April 20-21.

The team reached the World Group II play-offs after beating Bosnia, Portugal, Hungary and Bulgaria in the Europe/Africa Zone Group I.

It's the second consecutive year that the team has reached this stage in the competition, having lost to Sweden in the play-offs last year. This time they are determined not to let a promotion to the second tier of the competition slip through their fingers.

The Fed Cup team celebrated on court following their win over Bulgaria

Victorious: The Fed Cup team celebrated on court after making it to the World Group II play-offs

Unfortunately for the British team they won't have the home advantage, as Argentina were drawn as the hosts.

However, they will travel there with two players who have recently been pushing for a top 40 spot, while Argentina's top player, Paula Ormaechea, is currently ranked 195th, and may not even be available for the tie after picking up an injury against Sweden.

Britain's No 1 and No 2, Heather Watson and Laura Robson, both proved their mettle in last week's group tie's, with only one loss between them.

Team captain Judy Murray seemed enthusiastic about the draw, tweeting: 'Buenos dias Buenos Aires. Vamos @HeatherWatson92 @laurarobson5 @JoKonta91 @annekeothavong @ElenaBaltacha xxxxx #GBFedCup'

Anne Keothavong also seemed happy with the draw, tweeting: 'Argentina. Away. April. Bring it on! #GBFedCup.'

Lionel Messi"s son Thiago made a member of Newell"s Old Boys

Messi's son Thiago made a member of Newell's Old Boys… at three days old

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UPDATED:

18:52 GMT, 8 November 2012

Lionel Messi's son Thiago has already been made a member of Newell’s Old Boys' supporters club, after an agreement was reached between the club and the infant's grandfather, Jorge.

The Argentina club – for whom Messi played at youth level before moving to the Nou Camp aged 13- issued an official membership card for the baby, who was born in Barcelona on November 2.

Fast movers: Newell's Old Boys have made Thiago Messi the latest member of their supporters' club

Fast movers: Newell's Old Boys have made Thiago Messi the latest member of their supporters' club

Club officials will travel to Europe
with the official documentation for their newest member, whilst a
replica kit will also be delivered, which is adorned with the child's
name and the iconic No 10, which has been made famous by the Argentina
captain.

Lionel Messi was born in the Argentine city of Rosario, located 200 miles north west of Buenos Aires and remains a fan of Newell’s, his hometown team.

Prime mover: Jorge Messi (right) initiated the move

Prime mover: Jorge Messi (right) initiated the move

Newell’s is in the midst of one of its best seasons in memory, sitting on top of the Argentine first division under new coach Gerardo Martino.

Martino coached Paraguay to the quarter-finals of the 2010 World Cup in South Africa.

Nadal and Federer show their class but Ferrer suffers shock defeat in Indian Wells

Ferrer suffers shock defeat but Nadal and Federer ease through in Indian Wells

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UPDATED:

07:05 GMT, 14 March 2012

Fifth-seeded Spaniard David Ferrer was
ousted from the Indian Wells ATP tournament on Tuesday as Rafa Nadal
and Roger Federer both moved into the fourth round.

Ferrer was upset 6-4 6-3 by
Uzbekistan's Denis Istomin, Nadal swept past fellow Spaniard Marcel
Granollers 6-1 6-4 and Federer survived an early storm from Milos Raonic
before completing a 6-7 6-2 6-4 victory.

Power play: Rafael Nadal returns a shot against Marcel Granollers

Power play: Rafael Nadal returns a shot against Marcel Granollers

A winner of three titles this year, Ferrer had lost only once in 20 ATP matches this season before struggling badly on his second serve as he was outplayed by the 51st-ranked Istomin.

'I didn't play a good match even though I don't want to take credit from him,' the Spaniard Tweeted in his native language. 'He was the better player today and played very well, a fair winner.'

Claycourt specialist Ferrer, a former world No 4, had won titles in Auckland, Buenos Aires and Acapulco this year.

Second seed Nadal, Indian Wells champion in 2007 and 2009, dominated Granollers with his superb baseline game but lost a bit of momentum in the second set before triumphing in one hour, 25 minutes with an ace on his fifth match point.

'I played well. It was a comfortable first set,” Nadal said. “I didn't play my best in the second. I had a few mistakes, especially for the backhand, and then I was in a little bit trouble. But I am happy that I finished the match well.'

Focused: Roger Federer returns a shot to Milos Raonic

Focused: Roger Federer returns a shot to Milos Raonic

Federer was stunned by Raonic's power serving in the opening set but delivered a master class in the next two before wrapping up the win in just over two hours when the towering Canadian netted a forehand.

The Swiss, who had never previously played the 21-year-old, will next face Brazilian Thomaz Bellucci, who benefited from a walkover when Russian Nikolay Davydenko withdrew due to illness.

'I was impressed (by Raonic),' triple champion Federer said. 'He played great and made it hard for me by winning that first set tiebreaker.

'He kept himself in the match till the very end, and obviously put a lot of pressure on me. I think the longer I stayed out there the better I started feeling.'

Big-serving Juan Martin Del Potro of Argentina survived a shaky second set to beat Spanish left-hander Fernando Verdasco 6-2 7-6 in the first match of the day on the stadium court.

Upset: Denis Istomin beat David Ferrer

Upset: Denis Istomin beat David Ferrer

Del Potro, who won his first grand slam title at the 2009 US Open, breezed through his opening set in 39 minutes before struggling against his opponent's fluent ground strokes.

The six-foot six-inch Argentine saved four set points on his own serve in a marathon 10th game, and two more in the tiebreak, before sealing victory when a Verdasco backhand flew long.

Del Potro clenched his fists in delight before making a sign of the cross on his chest and looking skywards in relief as the stadium court crowd erupted in applause.

'I am still very nervous from that moment when Fernando played much better than me in the second set,' the 23-year-old said. 'Verdasco is a really difficult opponent, especially in the early rounds of the big tournaments.

'He's very, very tough and very dangerous. Sometimes you are lucky to win these kinds of matches.'

Sixth seed Jo-Wilfried Tsonga of France battled back to beat Czech Radek Stepanek 6-7 6-3 6-2 while Ukrainian Alexandr Dolgopolov scraped past Cypriot Marcos Baghdatis 6-4 5-7 6-4.