Sky Sports to screen Great Britain’s Fed Cup tie against Argentina

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Sky Sports has signed a deal with the ITF to show live coverage of Great Britain’s Fed Cup World Group II play-off clash against Argentina this weekend.

Laura Robson will spearhead Britain’s bid for Fed Cup promotion on the clay courts of Parque Roca in Buenos Aires on April 20-21.

The tie will decide who progresses to the eight-nation 2014 World Group II, the second tier of the international competition, after Great Britain finished as joint winners of the Europe/Africa Zone Group I in February.

World number 38 Robson will be joined in Buenos Aires by British number three Johanna Konta, number four Anne Keothavong and sixth-ranked Elena Baltacha.

Heather Watson has been ruled out of making the trip as she tries to get over a bout of glandular fever.

The team will be captained again by Judy Murray, who has led Great Britain’s resurgence in the Fed Cup over the past year.

The two countries have not met in the Fed Cup since 1980 but Britain have won both matches so far and will probably go in as favourites despite playing on Argentina’s favoured red clay surface.

The home side have selected world number 145 Paula Ormachea and 202nd ranked Maria Irigoyen as their singles representatives.

The two nations have met twice previously, with Great Britain winning on both occasions 2-1.

GB team warm up on court in Buenos Aires
Pictures: LTA YouTube channel

However, the last time they met was in 1980 and this will be the first meeting played in Argentina or Great Britain.

Argentina are facing relegation from World Group II following a painful loss to Sweden in the first round.

Stunning victories from Paula Ormaechea and Florencia Molinero gave Argentina a 2-0 lead at the end of day one.

Day two, however, was a different story after Ormaechea had done brilliantly to force a third set against Sofia Arvidsson but then she tore a ligament and could not continue.

It was one-way traffic after that as Sweden won each of the remaining rubbers to clinch victory and send Argentina into a relegation play-off.

Great Britain are fighting for a World Group II place for the second year in a row.

They emerged victorious from Europe/Africa Zone Group I, winning four matches in a row, and only dropping two rubbers in the process.

The promotional play-off saw the Brits take on Bulgaria and Laura Robson and Heather Watson both won their singles rubbers to seal Great Britain’s place in the World Group II play-offs.

 Britain, ranked 16th best nation in the world, are bidding to rejoin the World Group stage of the Fed Cup competition for the first time since 1993.

A vociferious and partisan atmosphere is expected inside the Mery Teran De Weiss Stadium over the two-day tie, with all the key action live on Sky Sports.

Coverage begins in Saturday with the two singles rubbers, followed by the deciding day which features two reverse singles matches plus a doubles rubber.

With Sky Sports screening the closing stages of the ATP Monte Carlo Masters over the same weekend, live Fed Cup coverage will begin behind the Red Button on Saturday from 2.00pm and Sunday at 2.45pm.

Following the conclusion of the matches in Monte Carlo, Sky Sports’ coverage will switch to the main channels.

Commentary will be provided by Barry Millns and Sam Smith.

BBC Radio 5 live Sports Extra will have live commentary of the entire tie, led by Jonathan Overend from Buenos Aires.

OFFICIAL WEBSITE          TIE DETAILS

Saturday 20th April
Day 1 – Singles x2 | Start Time: 14:00 BST
Paula Ormaechea (ARG) v Johanna Konta (GBR)
Florencia Molinero (ARG) v Laura Robson (GBR)
LIVE: 4.00pm-6.00pm – Sky Sports 3
(coverage begins via Red Button at 2.00pm)
  
Sunday 21st April
Day 2 – Reverse Singles x2 / Doubles | Start Time: 14:45 BST
Paula Ormaechea (ARG) v Laura Robson (GBR)
Florencia Molinero (ARG) v Johanna Konta (GBR)
Auroux/Irigoyen (ARG) v Keothavong/Robson (GBR)
LIVE: 3.30pm-5.00pm – Sky Sports 2
(coverage begins via Red Button at 2.45pm)

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