Fed Cup: Great Britain will bounce back, says Judy Murray
Judy Murray says Great Britain will bounce back from defeat in Argentina and make it third time lucky as they try to reach the Fed Cup World Group.
Britain lost 3-1 in Buenos Aires with both Laura Robson and Elena Baltacha defeated in one-sided deciding sets in singles matches on the second day.
It is the second year in a row Britain have lost a World Group play-off.
"It was a really tough day. I thought the Argentine girls played really well," GB team captain Murray said.
"It was really hot out there, very noisy crowd, a lot for our girls to deal with. We put up a great fight, we couldn't have tried any harder and we're all absolutely gutted."
Argentina 3-1 Great Britain
- Saturday: Paula Ormaechea (Arg) bt Johanna Konta (GB) 6-3 6-2
- Saturday: Laura Robson (GB) bt Florencia Molinero (Arg) 6-1 6-1
- Sunday: Paula Ormaechea (Arg) bt Laura Robson (GB) 6-4 4-6 6-2
- Sunday: Maria Irigoyen (Arg) bt Elena Baltacha (GB) 7-5 3-6 6-1
- Sunday: Konta/Keothavong (GB) v Auroux/Irigoyen (Arg) cancelled
Murray, whose team will return to the Euro/Africa zone next season, admitted her selection of Baltacha was "a risk".
The former British number one had only played one match since the Olympics after recovering from foot surgery.
Baltacha came in for Johanna Konta, who had been beaten by Paula Ormaechea on the opening day.
"At the beginning of the week I wasn't expecting Elena Baltacha to figure but she played incredibly well in practice all week," explained Murray.
"The thing with Bally is she is such a warrior with such an unbelievable Fed Cup record and I thought 'this is going to be tough, like a cauldron, the crowd are going to be noisy, really in our faces and if anyone can cope with that situation then Bally can.'
The Argentina supporters, with their trumpets, drums and whistles between serves, were warned a couple of times by the umpires but never came close to getting their team a point deduction.
Murray complained to the referee on more than one occasion about the whistling between serves.
"I think before the serves and between the serves that's quite unsettling," she said. "I don't think it affected Bally at all but for Laura I think it distracted her. You never get that in the normal weeks of the tour so that's quite a difficult thing for the young players to deal with."
Murray joked afterwards that the writing was on the wall early in the day on Sunday.
"When Ormaechea got a net cord on the first set point I was thinking Maradona and the Hand of God! Actually it's haunting me even thinking that."
But unlike England's footballers in the 1986 World Cup, Britain could have no complaints about their defeat.
"We had our chances and didn't quite get there," said Murray.
"We are getting close, though, to the play-offs and hopefully next year we can go one better."
Baltacha made the point that home advantage proved crucial, saying: "It helps when you have that particular crowd and a very slow clay court.
"I think if we had played them at home, indoors, it wouldn't even have been a challenge to be honest."