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Fed Cup by BNP Paribas
Euro/Africa Zone Group I
Last updated: 02/02/2012
Watch a video of Anne Keothavong speaking after recording the AEGON GB Fed Cup Team's first win of the 2012 Fed Cup competition.
The AEGON GB Fed Cup Team have defeated Portugal on day one of the Fed Cup by BNP Paribas Euro/Africa Zone Group I competition.
In the first singles match, Anne Keothavong beat Maria Joao Koehler 6-3, 6-4. Speaking after the match, Keothavong said:
“She was a very tricky opponent being a lefty, and she was a pretty strong girl so she didn’t give me too much rhythm. It’s actually quite breezy here too so that was a little bit awkward but I managed to soak up her pace and make her play that extra shot, and I’m pleased to have got the win. It was certainly very pleasing to win the very first match of our Fed Cup campaign and get the team off to the best possible start.”
In the second singles, Elena Baltaha got the better of Michelle Larcher de Brito 6-2, 6-3 to seal the tie for the British team. Reflecting on her match, Baltacha said:
“We knew it wasn’t going to be easy because the Portuguese girls have done well in the past. I think sometimes with girls at that level you’re never too sure which one of them is going to turn up, as in you don’t really know what kind of game they’re going to bring. But Anne and I knew that we’d have to stick to our guns and get the job done which was the most important thing.
“In stages my opponent played some amazing tennis and really put me on the back foot, but I knew that if I could just keep playing my game, keep showing her that I was still going for it I’d stay in control. She then gave me a few opportunities and I took them.”
Heather Watson and Laura Robson contested the doubles match against Maria Joao Koehler and Michelle Larcher de Brito, eventually triumphing 7-5, 6-0.
After making her debut for the team, Laura Robson said:
“It was a lot of fun playing with Heather again. We really tried to be aggressive and volleyed a lot. Yes it was my first Fed Cup match but I wasn’t nervous. I was really excited to be on court. It’s impossible to be nervous when you’re playing with Heather because she’s so relaxed. I’m just really happy with how it went.”
Speaking after what was a very successful first day as Captain, Judy Murray said:
“Today was fantastic. We had two convincing wins in the singles, straight sets wins for Anne first of all and then for Bally, and then the younger girls who had a little bit of a sticky start in the doubles came through very strongly so we didn’t drop a set and it was relatively straight forward. For me it was the perfect debut but it’s only the first match. We’ve got a tough one tomorrow against the Netherlands but we’ve prepared well and we’ll be ready.”
The GB team will face Netherlands in tomorrow’s second group match at 2pm GMT.
Watch a video of Elena Baltacha following her victory for Great Britain on Day 1 in Israel, Eilat.