A hugely successful week for British tennis saw the Fed Cup team win all ten of their matches at home.
Playing at Bath University and led by British number one Johanna Konta, the strong side has now qualified for the World Group 2 playoffs in April.
In their final match of the week the women beat Serbia in their promotion playoff match, after a dramatic match involving Konta.
Boulter continues fine form
British number two Katie Boulter opened the day’s tennis when she faced world number 117 Ivana Jorovic.
Boulter started the match in inspired form, clearly not tired after her three singles victories in the previous three days.
It has been a impulsive start to the year for Boulter after qualifying for the Australian Open last month.
The 22-year-old from Leicester impressively broke Jorovic’s serve twice in the opening three games.
Jorovic broke Boulter’s serve in her next two service games, however had no luck on her own and found herself 4-2 down.
The British number two held firm from then on to take the set 6-4, and just dropped serve once and won in the second to take the opening match 6-4 6-3.
Konta then took on world number 57 Alexsandra Krunic in what would be the tie-deciding match.
The first set was a close affair with both women breaking each other’s serves three times.
The consequential tiebreak was far from close however, as the South-African-born Brit stormed to a 7-1 victory to take first blood.
But after an early in break in the second, Konta faced a formidable comeback from the Serb who took the set 6-3.
Scare for British number one
Konta then had some worrying moments, after she collapsed off court after the second set.
The Brit complained of feeling ‘light-headed’, and lamented after the match that she felt ‘unwell’ and ‘shaky’.
Konta however showed her experience as the match went the distance.
The Eastbourne-based Konta then put the misery of the second set behind her as she fell to the floor in joy after sealing the match 7-6 3-6 6-2.
Team captain and former player Anne Keothavong had to help a clearly struggling Konta to her feet after the victory, which could have so nearly seen Konta retire.
A high for British women’s tennis
The victory means that GB’s women are just one win away from reaching the World Group Two, the second tier of world team tennis.
It would be the first time the team would be at this level for 26 years.
Captain Keothavong told BT Sport: “These girls are so strong. I don’t know what to say. I am so proud.”
It was also a successful week for British doubles pairing Katie Swan and Harriet Dart.
Fed Cup ties usually include a doubles match after the two singles matches, in order to decide the tie if poised at 1-1.
Thanks to the wins from Boulter and Konta however, the pairing were never required to seal victory in any of the ties.
The two did opt to play their doubles matches in the first two rounds, which saw two comfortable straight sets victories against the pairs of Slovenia and Greece.
Written by Michael Gillett (@MichaelBGJourno)