Gritty Great Britain set up Serbia Fed Cup showdown
Tennis

Gritty Great Britain set up Serbia Fed Cup showdown

09 February 2019 / 00:21

Johanna Konta produced a rousing comeback for the second night in a row as Great Britain moved closer to Fed Cup promotion with victory over Hungary.

The British No.1, who also came through a three-set battle in Friday's tie against Greece, was at the centre of the drama yet again in Bath as she fought back from a break down in the deciding set to eventually beat Anna Bondar 6-2 6-7 (1-7) 7-6 (7-4).

Konta's triumph, coupled with teammate Katie Boulter's earlier success over Dalma Galfi, saw GB take an unassailable 2-0 lead in the Group A clash and set up a Saturday showdown with Pool B winners Serbia.

Needing victory to progress through to the weekend's action, Anne Keothavong's side got off to the perfect start through youngster Boulter, who made it two wins from two in her maiden Fed Cup campaign.

Buoyed by the vocal home support at the University of Bath, the 22-year-old dominated the opening stages of her match with Galfi, peppering her opponent with powerful serves and groundstrokes as she took the first set 6-4.

But in the first twist of the day, the Hungarian edged the second set tiebreak to take the game to a decider.

In yet another indication as to the strength of her character, though, Boulter kept her nerve in yet another tiebreak to put GB into the ascendancy.

"This is everything to me. This means so much. [To the crowd] Thank you so much for helping me out." she said after the encounter.

"I was not calm at all. I wanted to see the last ball go out so I knew I had won. My heart was pumping so quickly.

"My mum is everything to me. My mum, my grandparents, they mean so much to me. Thank you to everyone here supporting me."

With the considerable incentive of qualification within touching distance following Boulter’s win, Konta emulated her teammate in racing out of the blocks, taking the opening set 6-2 against the world number 224.

An inspired Bondar regained her composure to win a second set tiebreak, before breaking early at the start of the decider to spark fears of a shock result.

In customary fashion, however, Konta simply refused to relent. With GB's Fed Cup hopes dangling by a thread, the 27-year-old broke back to set up a tense winner-takes-all tiebreak.

And with the momentum now fully behind her, Konta made her extra experience pay as she safely navigated the big points to strike the decisive blow.

"I am very fortunate to have come through that,” she said. “If anything I think it was my experience which got me through which she will get in time.

"That was just another incredible match after Katie's. She had a big battle too. I am speechless a little bit. I am still trying to come down from it."

GB now face Serbia on Saturday, with a spot in the Fed Cup Group II  play-off in April up for grabs for the winners.

Sportsbeat 2019