Great Britain to face Croatia in Fed Cup promotion play-off after win over Turkey

Britain have finished top of Pool C and earn a play-off against Pool B winners Croatia on Saturday

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The Independent Online

Great Britain will face Croatia in a Fed Cup promotion play-off after wins for Johanna Konta and Heather Watson secured victory over Turkey in Tallinn.

Konta had to fight back from a set down to beat Cagla Buyukakcay 5-7 6-4 6-3 while Watson thrashed Ipek Soylu 6-0 6-1 as Britain took an unassailable lead in the three-match tie.

In what proved to be a dead rubber, Laura Robson and Jocelyn Rae beat Ayla Aksu and Pemra Ozgen 6-2 6-2 in the doubles to complete a 3-0 triumph.

It means Britain have finished top of Pool C and earn a play-off against Pool B winners Croatia on Saturday.

The victors will then progress to another play-off in April to move out of Euro/Africa Zone Group I, the competition's third tier, and into World Group II.


It has been 24 years since Britain reached those heady heights but new team captain Anne Keothavong possesses a potent weapon in Konta, ranked 10th in the world and a quarter-finalist at the Australian Open last month.

Konta's task this weekend will be to overcome Croatia's talented 19-year-old Ana Konjuh, ranked 37th in the world and widely considered to be one of the game's rising stars.

Watson will be up against another youngster in 20-year-old Donna Vekic. Vekic's progress has slowed slightly since she burst onto the scene as a teenager but she will push Watson who, at 72, is ranked only 12 places higher in the world.

Konta may not be afforded the same lapse of concentration she suffered against Buyukakcay, the Briton dropping the first set, despite leading it 5-3. She steadied her nerve to battle through in three sets.

“Right now I'm just really happy to come through that,” Konta told British Tennis. “It wasn't easy and she definitely played herself into the match. To come through that and have the opportunity to go through to the play-off tomorrow - I'm very happy for us and the team.”

Watson endured no such problems as she needed only 64 minutes to see off world number 163 Soylu. A whitewash looked on the cards when Watson led 6-0 5-0 and while Soylu did finally get on the board, it proved little more than a consolation.

“Today I just felt I was pretty flawless,” Watson said. “I felt really good out there today, a lot of energy, I thought my focus - I was fully engaged in every single point.

“Whether I was down 30-0 or 40-0 in a game, I was coming up with really good tennis to come back. I think she felt that pressure a lot. The score was 6-0 6-1 but it felt a lot closer than that in the games. She's a good player.”

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