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Fed Cup by BNP Paribas
Euro/Africa Zone Group I
Last updated: 05/02/2012
The AEGON GB Fed Cup Team have defeated Austria in the Fed Cup by BNP Paribas Euro/Africa Zone Group I play-off, to progress to the World Group II Play-offs. The scores were as follows:
The British team will contest the World Group II Play-Offs from 21-22 April 2012, against an opposition which will be decided on Tuesday 14 February.
Speaking after the victory, AEGON GB Fed Cup Team Captain Judy Murray said: "Right now I’m absolutely over the moon that we’ve managed to win all of our matches, to win our group, and then win the play offs and get ourselves a promotion play off. It is everything that I would have hoped for and I’m just so, so proud of the team after what they’ve achieved this week.
"Anne worked very hard today, she was a total professional and she really came through for us. You’d be hard pushed to find a better number one than Bally. She’s just such an incredible competitor. She leaves everything out on the court so its exciting times ahead for us with the play-off match, and exciting times ahead for the future because Anne and Bally are playing the best tennis of their lives, the young players Heather and Laura are very exciting prospects and they will learn a lot from being around the older girls. They’ll be so excited to get up to the play-offs and hopefully it will inspire them to work hard, and really help us to develop a team that can really do some damage in the Fed Cup."
British No.1 Elena Baltacha, who was unbeaten in her four matches, said: "With Anne’s win it gave me the opportunity to relax and really go for it. I went out there, I got so pumped. I thought ‘right, I’m going to do this,’ and I played so well and was just really pleased that it didn’t have to go to a deciding doubles.
"I’m never going to forget this day. I knew we could do it. I knew yesterday, and I’ve thought it all week because we have such a great team, and everyone has been playing so well. We have fought our hearts out this week, and I’m so proud to have done this with the girls. This group of players is really special and I think we really deserve this success. I do genuinely feel it’s onwards and upwards for us now which is a very exciting prospect.”
Anne Keothavong said: "Since I made my Fed Cup debut 11 years ago, this is the first time we’ve managed to move up and advance out of this group and I’m just so pleased for the team. It is a great feeling all round. This whole week has been so much fun.
"Heather and Laura being that little bit younger have been very entertaining, plus the support from the team has been fantastic and of course Bally has been playing extremely well so its been fantastic to be part of it all. Today it was a real dog fight against Patricia and we were both a little bit nervous. But right now I’m just so happy that I got through that in straight sets and we can all celebrate a fantastic week for British women’s tennis."
Heather Watson said: "What a week. I’m delighted, it’s just the best thing. To enjoy success with my girls is amazing and we did it for everyone who has supported us. As a team we always believed we could win our group and then win the play-offs. It’s been that sort of a week! I loved playing our doubles matches. Laura and I had a lot of fun, and when you see your team mates cheering you on from the sidelines it makes it all the more special. We can’t wait for the play-offs now. We’re going to do everything we can to get promoted.”
Watson's doubles partner, Laura Robson, commented: "I’ve loved every minute of my first Fed Cup and winning it is such a great way to start my Fed Cup career. Bally and Anne have played some great tennis this week and I’d like to think that Heather and I played our part by supporting them along the way with our GB chants! Then in doubles we had some really tough matches, but managed to get the job done. It’s been the best experience. I’ve loved spending the week with my team and of course our Captain Judy who has made such a difference, that I’m really looking forward to the play-offs where hopefully we’ll do it all again.”
Leon Smith, LTA Head of Men's and Women's tennis, said: "What a great performance from the team across the whole week. Judy and the girls went about their work with huge professionalism and commitment, but also showed how much fun tennis can be, playing as a team, and playing for your country."
The draw for the World Group II Play-Offs will take place at the ITF on the 14th of February. The teams that will contest the world group II play-offs are Great Britain, Sweden, Argentina and China, who were all promoted from Group I and the four first round losers from World Group II: USA or Belarus, Japan or Slovenia, France or Slovak Republic, Switzerland or Australia.