Elise Mertens had a disappointing debut.

Tennis divas ousted by France

In tennis, the national Fed Cup team was ousted by France before a home crowd in Liège. France took an unassailable 0-3 lead this afternoon to deny Belgium a place in the semi-finals of the unofficial tennis World Championships.  Instead, Belgium will have a battle on their hands to stay in the World Group. 

The dream is over. The Belgian tennis team was defeated by France in Liège, 0-3 after 3 of the 5 matches. 

Things had started off the wrong way yesterday, when Alison Van Uytvanck was defeated by Caroline Garcia in 3 sets. Elise Mertens, the world's number 21, made her big debut for the Belgian team in the second match but failed to move past in-form Alizé Cornet, who came out on top in straight sets, 6-7, 2-6. The opening set was a hard battle in which Mertens failed to take several opportunities, which may have been a mental blow. 

In today's first game, all pressure was on Mertens' shoulders when she needed a win to keep Belgium in the game. However, Garcia, the world's number 19, proved too strong: 2-6, 3-6. 

Belgium will now have to play Romania in April, in a play-off tie to stay in the World Group.