Johanna Konta picked herself up off the floor – literally – to beat Aleksandra Krunic 7-6(1) 3-6 6-2 to seal a 2-0 victory for Great Britain over Serbia.
The Brit, 27, won the third set after an extraordinary moment between sets when she fell to the ground on the walkway leading to the court and looked very unwell.
For a time it seemed like she would not continue, and the BT sport commentators speculated about who would take part in the decisive doubles.
However, Konta returned and somehow managed to play good enough tennis to win the decider 6-2.
“I’m feeling pretty rubbish but it’s okay,” the British No.1 said in her on-court interview. “Honestly, the only thought I had was that if it was me out here then it would be another obstacle (for Krunic).”
“I had to make sure she had to win it. I had to understand my limitations quickly and try to bring the most out of myself with what I had.”
Konta continued, “I zoned in on looking at the ball which enabled me to strike it and place it where I wanted to.”
When the Brit went down a break early in the first set, it looked like she might have to mount another comeback and win in three sets.
However, she quickly put a stop to that kind of thinking by breaking back in game four and then trading blows with Krunic for the rest of a very even first set.
It concluded with four consecutive breaks of serve and a brilliant tie-break from Konta when she did everything right to win it 7-1.
The second set was closely-fought once again until the Brit visibly started to struggle from 3-3 onwards. She eventually lost it 6-3 and it soon became obvious that she was exhausted.
Boulter produces a classy display to beat Jorovic
Katie Boulter continued her perfect start to her Fed Cup career with an excellent performance to beat Ivana Jorovic 6-4 6-3.
The Brit, 22, played aggressively from the start as she sought to avoid another lengthy three-set encounter after competing in long matches on both of the last two days.
And her approach worked wonders as she stormed into a 3-0 lead courtesy of two breaks of Jorovic’s serve.
The Serb fought her way into it by getting one of the breaks back and then trading breaks with Boulter, but the Brit served well after that and wrapped up the set 6-4.
It was a closer contest for much of the second set and the scores were level after six games. But the World No.83 then found another gear and won the next three games – despite obvious fatigue – through a potent combination of big-hitting and determination to clinch victory.
“Oh my God, I’m close to tears right now,” Boulter said in her on-court interview. “It’s been a really long week.”
“I knew this match would be really tough. I grew up with Ivana so I knew she was a very good player and I was going to have to bring some of my best game out.”
The Brit continued, “It means everything and so much more (to win four matches for my team). I put everything on the court and so much heart. It means so much to me.”
“I spent a long time off the court (due to illness) and it made me realise how much I love the game. If you stick at something and do the best you can, I think literally anything is possible.”
Captain Anne Keothavong pays tribute to her stars and the fans
“It has been an unforgettable week,” Keothavong said in an on-court interview. “Everyone has made it so special for the team.”
“The guts, the courage by Jo and Katie today… Physically, if I could tell you what’s going on behind the scenes!”
“These girls are so strong. I don’t know what to say. I’m just so proud.”
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.
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.
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.
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:
Winner of Group A v Winner of Group C
Winner of Group B v Winner of Group D
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.
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
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