Johanna Konta Fights Back To Lead Great Britain To Victory - UBITENNIS
Connect with us

Fed Cup

Johanna Konta Fights Back To Lead Great Britain To Victory

Johanna Konta led by example with a battling display to see off Greek No.1 Maria Sakkari and secure victory for Great Britain.

Published

on

Johanna Konta (@BritishTennis on Twitter)

Johanna Konta fought back from a set down to beat Maria Sakkari 3-6 6-2 6-3 and give Great Britain an unassailable 2-0 lead against Greece.

 

The Brit, 27, looked to be the weaker player in the opening set against the rising star from Athens, who struck the ball cleanly and took her chances well.

However, the World No.39 is an experienced Fed Cup campaigner by now, and she turned the match around very impressively to get the win for her team.

‘I don’t think there’s much better than that – in this kind of arena, in front of this kind of support,’ Konta told fedcup.com. ‘I’ve played on all the centre courts at all the Grand Slams but this is definitely what you look for in a match.’

‘You look for a competitive match against a really great player, you look for it to go the wire and you look to be in front of a crowd that are so behind you and so invested in the match and who are living it with you. It was a complete pleasure to be out on court.’

Konta shows her grit

Early in the second set, the Brit’s prospects looked bleak as she immediately went down a break and seemed a little disconsolate.

But if Konta was feeling pessimistic, she shrugged off those negative thoughts quickly and battled her way back into the set.

The 2017 Wimbledon semi-finalist broke Sakkari twice in a row to move 4-1 ahead. She then almost won her fifth consecutive when she had four break points on the Greek’s serve.

However, the World No.39 hung on, despite a disagreement with the umpire, and managed to put Konta under pressure in game seven.

The Brit held firm, and then broke Sakkari again to take the set 6-2 and send the home crowd into raptures.

Both players gave it everything they had in the decider and the first five games took over 20 minutes to complete. But then Konta took charge as she broke the Greek and quickly finished off the set 6-3.

Boulter digs in to secure important victory

Katie Boulter (@BritishTennis on Twitter)

Katie Boulter was also given a tough test by Valentini Grammatikopoulou in the opening singles rubber of the tie as she recovered after losing the second set to win 6-3 4-6 6-3.

The British No.2 made an excellent start to the match. She broke immediately and served well to win it comfortably in just 34 minutes.

However, the Greek produced an inspired fightback in the second set and it soon became apparent that Boulter had a real match on her hands.

When Grammatikopoulou went 2-0 up in the decider, the situation looked dire for the Brit. But she never gave up, and soon earned a couple of break points in game four.

The World No.171 saved them both, along with two more, before Boulter eventually took the fifth to level the match. She then ground out a hold to move 3-2 ahead.

Unfortunately, her delight was somewhat marred by an unsavoury row involving Grammatikopoulou, Greece Captain Anastasios Bavelas and the umpire about what the player believed were ‘unfair’ line calls.

‘This umpire was not so good so I’m really disappointed in that in Fed Cup,’ Grammatikopoulou told the Daily Mail. ‘It’s really unfair to play like this.’

Now the momentum was with Boulter. She used it well to break the Greek again in the sixth game, and then held her nerve to secure two holds and seal a vital win.

The doubles had a tough task to try and live up to those dramatic singles matches, but Katie Swan and Harriet Dart performed impressively again to beat Anna Arkadianou and Despina Papamichail 6-1 6-4.

Hungary beat Slovenia to go second

In the other Pool A tie, Hungary eased to a 3-0 win over Slovenia to set up a shoot-out for top spot with Great Britain on Friday evening.

Dalma Galfi gave her team the perfect start with a 6-1 6-4 thrashing of Kaja Juvan, Anna Bondar backed that result up with an impressive 4-6 6-1 6-4 defeat of Dalila Jakupovic and Reka-Luca Jani and Adrienn Nagy completed the whitewash by beating Nina Potocnik and Nika Radisic 7-6(3) 4-6 6-2 in the doubles.

Croatia overcome Georgia despite resting star player Vekic

Croatia beat Georgia 2-1 to set up a Pool B decider with Serbia, but they almost paid for their decision to allow their best player Donna Vekic to sit out the tie and rest.

The tie started well for Croatia as Ana Konjuh beat Mariam Bolkvadze 6-4 6-3. But then Jana Fett took Vekic’s place and lost a marathon match 4-6 6-3 7-5 to Ekaterine Gorgodze.

Consequently, the Croatians asked Konjuh to join Daria Jurak for the deciding doubles. However, it did not look good for them when they fell 3-1 behind to Gorgodze and Oksana Kalashnikova.

To their immense relief, Konjuh and Jurak found their form and levelled the set at 5-5. Then Konjuh turned on the style as she hit a series of thunderous winners and excellent touch shots around the net to help her team win eight of the next nine games and close out the match 7-5 6-1.

In the other Pool B tie, Serbia thrashed Turkey 3-0. Ivana Jorovic beat Cagla Buyukakcay 6-2 6-3, Aleksandra Krunic edged out Pemra Ozgen 3-6 6-4 6-2 and Krunic and Olga Danilovic eased to a 6-2 6-3 win over Berfu Cengiz and Ipek Soylu in the doubles.

 

Fed Cup

Fed Cup Finals And Play-Offs Postponed Due to Coronavirus Concerns

The Fed Cup Finals and play-offs have been postponed due to fears over the Coronavirus.

Published

on

(@WeAreTennis - Twitter)

April’s Fed Cup Finals and play-offs have been postponed due to current health concerns associated with the coronavirus. 

 

Today’s announcement comes hours after the Hungarian government announced a ban on any indoor events which has more than 1000 people in it.

The Fed Cup finals were due to take place between the 14th and 19th of April in Budapest but the increasing amount of cases around the world and 13 in Hungary left the ITF with no choice.

In addition, April’s play-offs have also been postponed and will be moved to a later date, with the ITF finding away to solve the problem around eligibility for the summer’s Olympic games.

Speaking on the announcement, ITF President David Haggerty expressed his disappointment but insisted health is more important, “We are extremely disappointed to have to make this decision, but we will not risk the safety and welfare of players, captains, event staff or spectators,” Haggerty said.

“This decision has not been made lightly; the threat posed by the COVID-19 is a serious one and calls for us to act responsibly as a federation and as human beings. This situation goes beyond sport.

“New dates for the Finals and for the Play-offs will be announced in due course and will primarily be guided by the length of time that tennis as a whole is affected by COVID-19. We will continue to collaborate with our colleagues across the sport to ensure that the impact on players, tournaments, rights holders and fans is as minimal as possible.”

The Fed Cup Finals and play-offs are the second tennis event to be postponed because of the coronavirus after the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells was cancelled a couple of days ago.

Currently the Miami Open is set to go ahead although there is a big chance that this tournament could also be cancelled.

The ATP and WTA tournament at the Hard Rock Stadium is set to start on Monday the 25th of March.

Continue Reading

Fed Cup

Fed Cup Finals Draw: Australia And Czech Republic Given Tricky Tests In Budapest

Australia and Czech Republic have been handed difficult draws for the Fed Cup Finals in Budapest in April.

Published

on

(@FedCup - Twitter)

Australia and Czech Republic have been given tricky draws ahead of the inaugural Fed Cup Finals in Budapest. 

 

The event in Hungary takes place on the 14th-19th of April on clay to prepare players for the clay-court season that will approach.

In the inaugural event there are 12 nations competing for the Fed Cup title with the four group winners advancing to the semi-finals.

Ahead of April’s Fed Cup finale, the draw was announced today which has seen some mouth-watering matches set to take place.

Last year’s finalist’s Australia are in Group B and they have been given tricky tests against a strong Belarus team and Belgium.

Belarus have Aryna Sabalenka, Aliaksandra Sasnovich and Victoria Azarenka at their disposal while Belgium will be lead by Elise Mertens.

Meanwhile the other group in their half of the draw will see Czech Republic will face tough tests against Germany and a Switzerland team lead by Belinda Bencic.

On the other side of the draw, defending champions France will look to successfully defend their title when they face Russia and hosts Hungary.

Given the scenarios, this is a fairly good draw for France who would regard clay as their strongest surface and are favourites to make the last four.

In the last four, France could play USA who have been drawn with Spain and Slovakia who beat Great Britain in last weekend’s qualifiers.

Here is the full draw with the full round-robin schedule for April’s finals set to be released on Monday:

Group A

France

Russia

Hungary

Group B

Australia

Belarus

Belgium

Group C

USA

Spain

Slovakia

Group D

Czech Republic

Germany

Switzerland

Semi-Finals

Winner of Group A v Winner of Group C

Winner of Group B v Winner of Group D

Continue Reading

Fed Cup

Great Britain Handed Mexican Away Trip In Fed Cup Play-Off Draw

Great Britain face another away tie as they travel to Mexico in the Fed Cup Play-Offs.

Published

on

Harriet Dart and Anne Keothavong (@the_LTA - Twitter)

Great Britain have been handed an away trip to Mexico in the Fed Cup Play-Off draw as they look to compete in next year’s qualifiers. 

 

The Brits, who were without Johanna Konta in their 3-1 defeat away to Slovakia, will now head to Mexico in April looking to avoid being relegated to Zone Group I.

Just like their tie in Bratislava, they are likely to be without Johanna Konta who has one eye on the Olympic Games and also like their tie this past weekend the tie will probably be on clay.

However this time the British team will be favourites to make next year’s Fed Cup qualifiers as the Mexican don’t have a single Women’s singles player in the top 200.

There will be eight Fed Cup play-offs which will be played on the 17th and 18th of April, with the eight winners joining eight teams from the Fed Cup finals.

14 of the 16 teams are confirmed with the Asia/Oceania Zone Group I still needed to be played in early March in Dubai after the Coronavirus epidemic meant that China couldn’t host the event in February.

Here is the full Fed Cup play-off draw:

(C) = Choice of Ground 

Brazil v Poland (C)

Great Britain v Mexico (C)

Canada v Serbia (C)

Latvia (C) v Asia/Oceania Nation TBC

Japan (C) v Ukraine

Romania (C) v Italy

Kazakhstan v Argentina (C)

Netherlands (C) v Asia/Oceania Nation TBC

 

Continue Reading
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement

Trending