Jo Konta fought back from the brink to earn Great Britain an unforgettable Fed Cup victory over Serbia that secured a spot in April’s World Group II play-offs.
The British number one battled into a tenth hour of tennis in four days, holding on to decisively defeat world number 57 Aleksandra Krunic 7-6 (7-1), 3-6, 6-2 at University of Bath.
Captain Anne Keothavong swelled with pride at her team’s grit with exhausted Konta seen slumped in a court gangway before the start of the third set.
“It’s been an unforgettable week – everyone in Bath has made it so special for the team. I couldn’t be prouder of everyone,” said Keothavong.
“The guys and courage of Jo and Katie (Boulter) today, physically, these girls are stronger than they realise. I’m just so proud.”
Konta played her part in the Group A victory over Hungary that saw them advance to face Serbia at the end of a gruelling week.
Her first-set tie break success showed spades of character and she fought back from losing the second to push past Krunic.
“I’m feeling pretty rubbish but that’s OK,” said Konta.
“The home support means a lot to all of us, to have you guys come out every single day to come out and support the way you did is incredible.
“I just wanted to control what I could and really understand quickly my limitations, try to play within that and bring the most out of myself.”
Katie Boulter’s barnstorming week continued as she claimed the opening singles rubber 6-4, 6-3 against Ivana Jorovic.
The 22-year-old fought remorselessly against fatigue, coming off the back of two three-set tussles against Hungary, and a stubborn opponent ranked 117th in the world, rested on Saturday.
Boulter broke serve twice early on to surge 4-1 ahead and despite being broken back, came to the net effectively to secure a fourth successive first-set victory of the week.
The Leicester star called on reserves of resilience, pulling back from four break points down to keep the initiative and claim decisive victory.
"I knew going into this match it was going to be really tough,” said Boulter.
“I grew up with her and I knew I'd have to bring my best game. I am just really happy with the win.
"It means everything and so much more. I put everything on the court and have so much heart. It just means so much to me!
"I think anything can be achieved. If you stick at it, anything is possible."