Fed Cup: Katie Swan helps GB to win against South Africa

Katie Swan and Judy Murray
Captain Judy Murray (right) selected Swan in the absence of Johanna Konta

Katie Swan became Great Britain's youngest Fed Cup player at the age of 16 as she helped her team to victory over South Africa in Eilat, Israel.

The teenager, ranked 524th, defeated Ilze Hattingh 6-3 6-0 to give Britain a 1-0 lead in their first tie at the Europe/Africa Group 1 tournament.

Heather Watson and the doubles team of Jocelyn Rae and Anna Smith wrapped up a 3-0 victory for Judy Murray's team.

Britain must win three ties to secure a World Group II play-off in April.

Captain Murray selected Swan to play singles after Australian Open semi-finalist and British number one Johanna Konta withdrew because of illness.

Katie Swan on the rise
Swan is Britain's youngest Fed Cup player at 16 years and 316 days, surpassing Anne Keothavong (17 years and 221 days in 2001)She reached the Australian Open girls' final in 2015 and ended the year ranked third in juniors
She is the current British number 10 at 524 in the worldSwan won her first ITF senior titles in Egypt and Spain last year
Swan was born in Bristol but is based in Kansas, USA, where her family relocated in 2013Denise Panagopoulou of Greece is the youngest ever Fed Cup player - 12 years and 360 days in 1977

Swan, who reached the Australian Open junior final last year, was ranked 126 places higher than 19-year-old Hattingh and beat her in just 55 minutes.

"I was really excited to play but I was also a bit nervous, which was showing in the beginning, but I managed to relax after a few games and I started playing really well," Swan told the Fed Cup website.

"It's just amazing to get to play for your country - for me it's the best thing in tennis representing your country.

"British tennis is doing amazing. We have the Davis Cup boys who just won and obviously Jo and Andy (Murray) and Jamie (Murray) doing so well in Australia. It's inspired the whole team."

Watson, ranked 85th, was a comfortable 6-3 6-3 winner over world number 317 Chanel Simmonds in the second singles, before Rae and Smith defeated Madrie Le Roux and Michelle Sammons 6-3 6-2.

Britain will take on Georgia in the second and final group tie on Friday, with victory likely to set up a clash with Belgium on Saturday for one of the two qualification places on offer.

Heather Watson
Watson made her Fed Cup debut in 2011 and played in her 20th tie against South Africa

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