Heather Watson is through to the second round after 3 sets against Kristyna Pliskova. She lost the first set 4-6, won the second set 6-3 and the third set 6-1. She's got a tough second round opponent, the 16th seed Elise Martens who she beat last week at Hobart.
Elise Martens got her revenge by thrashing Heather Watson 6-3, 6-0. Heather is returning home to rest as she has a slight abdominal injury before going off to Slovakia for the Fed Cup next month.
The Harriet Dart/Simona Halep match is in progress - first set has gone to Simona Halep 2-6.
Simona Halep won the second set against Harriet Dart 4-6, but had to go to 4 match points to clinch it.
The GB Fed Cup team go to Slovakia this week for their qualifying round against Slovakia. The team consists of Heather Watson, Harriet Dart, Naitktha Bains, Katie Swan and Emma Raducanu. The matches are 2 singles, 1 doubles and 2 reverse-singles. All 5 matches will be played though the team with at least 3 wins goes through to the finals.
The matches will be indoors on a clay surface. It's going to be a hard week for GB as Johanna Konta and Katie Boulter would have been playing if they were able to.
Although the winning country goes through to the finals in Hungary on the 14th to 19th April, it is not clear what happens with the losing country, According to the Fed Cup site the losing countries compete in the play-offs in the same week as the finals; the play-offs also include 8 countries from the various Group 1 rounds so 16 countries in all; the 8 winning countries in the play-offs qualify for next year's qualifiers (the equivalent of this week's qualifiers); the 8 losing countries are effectively relegated back into the Group 1 countries next year. That's what the Fed Cup site seems to be saying. Wiki is saying nothing about play-offs - the 8 losing countries this week are relegated back into the Group 1 countries next year.
So rather confusing.
BBC interview transcript of Heather Watson talking ahead of this week's Fed Cup:
Anna Karolina Schmeidlova (ranking 199) v Heather Watson (74)
Viktoria Kuzmova (65) v Harriet Dart (141)
and on Saturday:
Viktoria Kuzmova v Heather Watson
Anna Karolina Schmeidlova v Harriet Dart
Lastly the doubles on Saturday:
Viktoria Kuzmova (30) and Magdalena Rybarikova (980) v
Naiktha Bains (204) and Emma Raducanu (no doubles ranking).
Those are the nominated players though the doubles players may get changed depending on how the singles results go.
Not a good start with Anna Karolina Schmeidlova beating Heather Watson 6-2, 6-3.
Viktoria Kuzmova beat Harriet Dart 6-7 (3-7) 6-3 7-5. Harriet Dart, in her Fed Cup debut, was vey good against a much more experienced clay court player.
It seems that Slovakia chose a clay court venue as that made it too risky for Johanna Konta to participate.
Change in the players in today's matches.
Rebecca Sramkova (202) v Heather Watson - match in progress and the first set is currently 0-5 in favour of Heather.
Then Anna Karolina Schmeidlova v Harriet Dart followed by the doubles currently with the players as previously posted.
The change was due to Viktoria Kuzmova being ill today so that may mean a change to who plays in the doubles.
And Heather Watson has taken the second set 5-7 so GB is on the way back.
Not to be. Anna Karolina Schmeidlova beat Harriet Dart 7-5, 6-3.
BBC site says that GB will have a play-off in April to try and reach this stage again. So it seems that the Fed Cup site were right and Wiki wrong.
Wiki's top page for the 2020 Fed Cup was corrected on the 3rd, the day after I posted about the confusion.
The subsidiary page on the Qualifying Round has yet to be corrected at this time.
GB drawn away to Mexico (GB has generally been drawn away over the years rather then at home so as usual it's another away visit). Means that Mexico have the advantage of choice of venue and surfacs and a home crowd.
At present GB have a world ranking of 14 and Mexico 26. Tie is played 17 and 18 April. Winner goes through to the qualifiers round in 2021, loser drops back down to the respective Group 1 groups (those are the Americas, Asia/Oceania and Europe/Africa - as more countries play in the Europe/Africa group that group is split in two sub-groups).
Although Anne Keothavong will try to encourage Johanna Konta to be in the Fed Cup team, it's not helped by players wanting to be playing on clay courts in Europe in preparation for the French Open in May. Johanna Konta was in 3 tournaments on clay in the run up to the French Open but the first wasn't until late April.
Heather Watson wins her first round in the Mexican Open beating Coco Vandeweghe 4-6, 6-4, 6-4. Heather's ranking is now 69 and will improve with any wins over the next month as she lost every match during that time last year.
Katie Boulter is back in action, her match is tonight.
Katie Boulter also through to the second round beating Francesca De Lorenzo 2-6, 6-3, 6-2,
Heather Watson through to the quarter finals beating Kateryna Bondarenko 7-6 (7-2) 6-2. She's against Christina McHale.
Zhu Lin beat Katie Boulter 7-6 (7-2) 7-5.
Heather Watson through to the semi-finals beating Christina McHale 6-3, 1-6, 6-1. She's against Xiyu Wang.
Heather Watson through to the final beating Xiyu Wang 6-4 7-6 (8-6). The final is against Leylah Fernandez.
And Heather Watson has won her first WTA title since 2016 beating Leylah Fernandez 6-4 6-7 (8-10) 6-1
In the next set of rankings she'll be back in the top 50.
Heather Watson is up to 49th in the new rankings. In the Race Singles rankings (which are based just on the current year, she's now 17th.
She and Johanna Konta are in another tournament this week in Mexico. In the first round Heather is against Tatjana Maria (one of her regular doubles parttners) and Kim Clijsters agsinst Johama. The winners meet in the second round.
Heather Watson beaten by Tatjana Maria 6-7 (4-7) 6-3 5-7.
Johanna Konta beat Kim Clijsters 6-3, 7-5.
Katie Boulter is playing in a tournament at Indian Wells this week and has beaten Anna Blinkova who is ranked 60. First win against a top 100 player in over a year.
Johanna Konta beat Tatjana Maria 7-6 (7-4) 6-3. She plays Anastasia Potapova in the quarter-finals in Mexico.
Lesia Tsurenko beat Katie Boulter 6-3, 6-3 in the second round match at Indian Wells.
The Open at India Wells runs from March 11 to 22. That's followed by the Miami Open. Those are premier mandatory tournaments, so one stop down from the Grand Slam events. Ranking points are based on a player's best results of any 16 tournaments but the Grand Slam and premier mandatory tournaments are included in that 16 even if the player didn't play in that tournament.
Johanna Konta through to the semi-finals in Mexico beating Anastasia Potapova 6-7 (6-8) 6-3 7-6 (9-7). Her opponent is Marie Bouzkova.
Indian Wells tournament cancelled.
The final rankings in the top 200 are:
Johanna Konta 14
Heather Watson 50
Harriet Dart 146