(February 7, 2013) Great Britain’s Fed Cup Team have defeated Bosnia & Herzegovina in their opening match of the Fed Cup Euro/Africa Zone Group I competition.
In the first singles match, British No. 3 Anne Keothavong beat 16 year-old Dea Herdzelas 6-4, 6-2. Keothavong, having broken in the opening game surrendered her own serve immediately, but broke again at 4-all en route to taking the first set. The second was more straightforward with breaks in the third and seventh games seeing the Briton through. Speaking after the match, Keothavong said: “I knew she was young and didn’t know much about her. I haven’t had a lot of matches lately so that probably explains the slow start. I don’t think we gave each other a lot of rhythm the difference was I was able to use my experience better in the second set. I’m not overly pleased with the match but a win is a win and I’m glad I was able to get the team off to a winning start.
In the second singles, British No. 1 Heather Watson got the better of Anita Husaric 6-3 6-4 to seal the tie for Great Britain. Watson broke in the third and ninth games to move a set in front and seized the second set’s only break in the final game for victory after 82 minutes. Reflecting on her match, Watson commented: “I didn’t play the greatest. I suppose I was a bit nervous playing my first singles match for Team GB. But looking on the bright side I’m glad I pulled it though and will hopefully improve tomorrow.”
Team GB Fed Cup debutante Johanna Konta and Laura Robson contested the doubles match against Jasmina Kajtasovic and Jelena Simic, coming through 6-0, 6-0 in 46 minutes for the loss of just 17 points. The Bosnian’s missed their only game point on their own serve in the final game. After the match, Konta said: “I’m super excited to have represented GB and it was a lot of fun playing with Laura out there for the first time. I haven’t played a team competition since I was 12 I think so this was a nice change and I couldn’t have asked for a better start.”
Speaking after a successful start to their 2013 campaign, Captain Judy Murray said, “Today was the perfect start for our team. Everybody played, everybody won. Annie kicked us off against a very promising young Bosnian who came at her hard and fast but she came through in straight sets. Then Heather played her first Fed Cup rubber as British No. 1. It’s not so easy playing someone you’ve never played before with nothing to lose. In the second set, Heather settled down, starting to rally with good depth from the back and gave us a winning 2-0 lead. Laura and Jo were incredible in the doubles. For Jo, it’s always nice to get off to a winning start representing your country for the first time. I selected Laura to play doubles because this is a tough week. You play matches on four consecutive days. It’s very import to spread the load across the whole team.” Team GB will now face Portugal in tomorrow’s second group tie at 09:30 local time (07:30 GMT). Murray said, “Tomorrow I would anticipate tougher opposition. Portugal will have Michelle Larcher de Brito ranked No. 130. The fact they are without their best player Maria Koehler is a bonus for us. We just have to take each match as it comes and look to set ourselves up for a group play-off against Hungary on Saturday.”