Jodie Burrage ‘hurting’ as she fights back tears after horror BJK Cup debut

Jodie Burrage admitted she was “hurting” for her team and the home crowd after suffering a nightmare debut in the Billie Jean King Cup. The British No.2 had raced into a 4-0 lead after 20 minutes against world No.372 Kajsa Rinaldo Persson- and then collapsed to lose 12 of the next 13 games.

The British No.2 made 31 unforced errors and had her serve broken six times as she lost 6-4 6-1 in an excruciating 80-minute defeat.

In her post-match press conference, Burrage fought back tears as she admitted: “It is tough to take. Even the nerves before, I have not felt like that before ever. Even stepping out on Centre Court at Wimbledon. It doesn’t even compare to this.

“It is so different playing for yourself and playing for your team. That is why it hurts even more because I am hurting for other people. That is why I am **** off with myself even more than I have ever been. The crowd did their absolute best to try and get me to sort my tennis out.

“I gave everything I had today and I just wasn’t good enough. And that is what is **** really if you excuse my French.”

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Captain Anne Keothavong will now have to decide whether to give Burrage another chance in the reverse singles today – or call in Harriet Dart or Heather Watson.

But the British No.2 said: 100% I would like another go but that is up to the captain.”

Britain were heavy favourites coming into the playoff with Sweden’s top two players – world No.102 Rebecca Peterson and world No.163 Mirjam Bjorklund – out injured.

In her courtside interview, Swedish No.1 player here Persson said: “It’s super special and it’s always an honour to play for my country and this is one of the biggest wins of my career.

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“It wasn’t that great of a start for me but right now I’m super happy I got the win. Today it worked out.

“I think I played pretty well the first game but just didn’t get the games with me, but I’m just happy right now.”

After Saturday’’s two singles matches, the tie will be settled on Sunday with the reserve singles and a doubles tie. The winners will go into a qualifier next year to reach the Billie Jean King Cup finals next November.

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