sport

GB sign off with Fed Cup loss

Heather Watson won again but Great Britain ended their Fed Cup campaign with a narrow 2-1 defeat to hosts Hungary.

Defeat to a strong Romania squad on Friday had crushed captain Judy Murray's team's hopes of advancing from Group One of the Europe/Africa zone.

Unable to go past the pool stage, Britain wanted to finish with a flourish and Watson got the team off to a positive start against Hungary with her third singles win in succession.

The 21-year-old from Guernsey began by beating Latvian Jelena Ostapenko in Britain's opening pool match on Wednesday, and then overcame Romania's world number 22 Sorana Cirstea. Reka-Luca Jani became her latest victim, with Watson winning 6-4 6-1 in an hour and 15 minutes.

Watson's team-mate Johanna Konta made a bright start against Timea Babos in the second singles rubber, but world number 83 Babos hit back to win 4-6 7-6 (7/5) 6-4 in two hours and 35 minutes.

Tara Moore and Joss Rae paired up for the deciding doubles and also began well against Babos and Jani before eventually losing 5-7 7-5 6-3.

Cusp

Meanwhile, Australia, Germany and Italy stand on the cusp of the Fed Cup semi-finals after going 2-0 up in Saturday's opening World Group first round action.

Casey Dellacqua put Australia 1-0 in front against Russia with a 6-0 6-2 win over Irina Khromacheva in Hobart.

World number 16 Samantha Stosur then beat unknown 16-year-old Veronika Kudermetova 6-4 6-0 to leave the hosts just one win away from progressing on Sunday's second and final day.

Germany lead Slovakia by the same scoreline in Bratislava after Andrea Petkovic survived a match point to beat Dominika Cibulkova 2-6 7-6 (9/7) 6-2 and Angelique Kerber saw-off Daniela Hantuchova 7-6 (11/9) 6-1.

Italy also boast a 2-0 lead against USA after the visitors won both the opening singles rubbers, Karin Knapp securing a 6-3 3-6 6-1 victory over Christina McHale and Camila Giorgi defeating Madison Keys 6-2 6-1.

In other World Group action, Carla Suarez Navarro gave Spain a 1-0 lead over the Czech Republic with a 6-1 6-4 triumph against Barbora Zahlavova Strycova.

Rain then forced the match between Maria-Teresa Torro-Flor and Klara Zakopalova to be postponed 24 hours, which will now be played before the three scheduled rubbers on Sunday.