British number two Heather Watson continued to build up to the return of the professional tour with another fine win at the Battle of the Brits.
Watson, 28, won her fourth singles match of the week with a ruthless 6-0 6-1 victory over Maia Lumsden.
It enabled the Union Jacks to cut the gap on the British Bulldogs to one point at the team event in Roehampton.
But the Bulldogs won the final three matches on day five of the week-long competition to lead 41-32.
The Union Jacks trailed 31-25 going into Friday’s action before singles wins for Watson, Jodie Burrage and Naomi Broady – plus victory for Jamie Murray and Lloyd Glasspool in the men’s doubles – hauled them back to 33-32.
However, Kyle Edmund eased past British men’s number one Dan Evans to reassert the Bulldogs’ control.
Former world number 14 Edmund reacted angrily at the net towards Evans after losing the pair’s meeting earlier this week, but this time it was Evans left frustrated during a 6-3 6-4 defeat.
Edmund’s triumph came after a mixed doubles win for his team-mates Harriet Dart and Liam Broady, before Johanna Konta and Cameron Norrie won the last match of the day to open up a nine-point lead.
The country’s leading men and women are playing together in singles, doubles and mixed doubles matches in a week-long competition.
It has been organised by Jamie Murray to provide competitive action for British players while the professional tours remain suspended because of the coronavirus pandemic.
The first to 60 points will win the event, which features 40 singles and 20 doubles matches worth varying points and finishes on Sunday.
Watson ‘moving great and feeling strong’ after another win
Watson has been one of the standout players at the National Tennis Centre this week, maintaining her fine form by sweeping past 22-year-old Lumsden in hot and windy conditions.
The world number 50, who is planning to play in the forthcoming US Open, hit 11 winners and made just six unforced errors.
These have been Watson’s first matches since March after the WTA Tour was suspended because of Covid-19. The tour resumes in Palermo on Monday with Watson planning to return in the United States next month.
“That’s what this week is so great for, getting loads of matches in. That’s what I’ve got and I’m glad it was a quick one today,” said Watson.
“The body is getting used to the matches again. I feel I’m moving great and feeling strong.”
Union Jacks 32-41 British Bulldogs (first to 60)
(Matches show Union Jacks players first)
Jodie Burrage 7-5 6-0 Beth Grey (two points)
Jamie Murray/Lloyd Glasspool 7-6 6-2 Dom Inglot/Alastair Gray (two points)
Heather Watson 6-1 6-0 Maia Lumsden (two points)
Dan Evans 3-6 4-6 Kyle Edmund (two points)
Jamie Murray/Olivia Nicholls 4-6 5-7 Cameron Norrie/Johanna Konta (three points)
Naomi Broady 6-2 4-6 10-6 Eden Silva (one point)
Ryan Peniston 5-7 6-3 8-10 Cameron Norrie (two points)
Lloyd Glasspool/Katie Boulter 4-6 4-6 Liam Broady/Harriet Dart (three points)
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