Fed Cup: GB sweep past Hungary for World Group play-off

09/02/2018

| Federation Cup

Johanna Konta at the Euro/Africa Zone Group 1 Fed Cup tie in Tallinn, Estonia

Heather Watson and Johanna Konta gave Great Britain a shot at returning to the Fed Cup’s World Group level after wrapping up victories in Saturday’s zonal play-off tie with Hungary.

The British duo both sealed singles victories to ensure their country triumphed in the Euro/Africa Zone Group I meeting and earned a place in April’s World Group II play-off.

The pair were unbeaten throughout the four-day event in Tallinn, Estonia, with their strength in singles backed up by the doubles prowess of Anna Smith and Katie Boulter.

Captain Anne Keothavong beamed with pride from the side of the court as she watched Watson and then Konta repeat the trick they managed a year ago, when they emerged from the Zone Group I as victors.

As she had all week, Watson kicked off Saturday’s match-ups with a convincing victory, even if she did drop the first set against Hungary’s Dalma Galfi.

The British No.2 suffered an early break in the opening set and struggled to find a way back into it as the Hungarian 19-year-old proved a tougher opponent than anyone Watson had faced so far.

Watson however, used the break between sets to compose herself and before long had turned the tables on Galfi, breaking twice in both the second and third sets to secure a 3-6, 6-1, 6-4 victory in an hour and forty one minutes.

Next up was Konta, who came through a gruelling three-setter with Estonia’s Anett Kontaveit twenty four hours earlier. This time, however, the British No.1 enjoyed a far more straightforward evening, cruising to a 6-3, 6-1 win in just an hour and five minutes.

With the tie sealed, the captains opted against playing the doubles dead rubber and Britain can now look forward to a spot in April’s World Group II play-offs as they bid to return to the Fed Cup’s elite level.

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