06 Feb Fed Cup 2015
The Irish Fed Cup team travelled to Tallin Estonia last week to take part in the Fed Cup by BNP Paribas Group ll.
They drew Finland, Luxembourg and Slovenia in their group.
First up were the group favourites Finland
Julie Byrne and Amy Bowtell played the singles splitting the score at 1-1 while Finland took the deciding doubles beating Rachel Dillon and Amy Bowtell 6-3 6-2
Day 2 and Luxembourg and Ireland go 1-1 in the singles again with Julie losing on a scoreline of 6-2 6-3 and Amy beating her opponent 6-2 6-4. Rachel and Amy went on to win the doubles 6-3 7-5 to secure this tie.
At this point the group positions had Ireland in 2nd place behind Slovenia who after beating Finland were now looking like they would top the group.
Lauren Deegan made her debut earlier today playing the no 2 singles and she really had nothing to prove when she took to the court and went out against their no 2 player Tadeja Majeric who has a world ranking of 234!
Lauren sensationally took the first set 7-5 ,lost the second set and went 3-0 up in the third before Majerik fought back to eventually secure the win.
Their no 1 player Polona Hercog holds a current ATP ranking of 76 and had recently won a round in the Australian Open. On the other hand Amy Bowtell was fresh from her Futures victory in Sunderland last week and confidence was high.This match went to a set all when the Slovenian retired giving Ireland an invaluable point in this tie. Expectations were high at this stage going in to the doubles, however the Slovenian girls were also eager to secure their place in a playoff for promotion and they took control from the beginning winning this match in straight sets.
Day 4 and after the emotions of yesterday’s tie with Slovenia Ireland had to reset their sights on avoiding relegation in this playoff against Bosnia Herzegovina. After Deegan’s sensational debut the previous day she was selected to play this all important singles and was clinical this time out winning with a convincing scoreline 6-0 6-3. Bowtell was next up but was clearly in trouble from early on when she sustained a pulled stomach muscle. Despite a brave performance where she battled through three tough sets serving underhand for almost the entire match she eventually lost 6-2 2-6 7-5. More drama as Rachael Dillon and Julie Byrne find themselves in a position which nobody could have anticipated that morning, playing to avoiding relegation. The Irish girls put in a great performance but unfortunately lost out on this occasion in three sets 6-2 3-6 6-2.
This was a tough loss for the Irish team and their captain Yvonne Doyle to accept having come so close to playing for promotion the previous day.