Konta leads GB to Fed Cup victory in Estonia

Johanna Konta
Johanna Konta

Eastbourne’s Johanna Konta gave Great Britain a convincing start to their Fed Cup campaign with a dominant win against Portugal in Tallinn.

With no players in their quartet ranked in the top 500, Portugal were not expected to put up much resistance and Konta, alongside Heather Watson, certainly did their jobs professionally.

British No 1 and world No 11 Konta needed just 49 minutes to defeat Maria Joao Koehler 6-1 6-0 while Watson got off to a shaky start against 17-year-old Francisca Jorge, trailing 3-1, but recovered well to win 6-4 6- 1.

Anne Keothavong’s team must top their round-robin group and then win a play-off on Saturday to give themselves another shot of getting into World Group II.

The crunch match is likely to come today (Friday) when Konta and the team take on hosts Estonia, who boast two top-70 players in Anett Kontaveit and Kaia Kanepi.

Britain have not competed in the Fed Cup World Group since 1993 - they reached the play-off stage in 2017, but lost 3-2 on the clay courts of Romania.

During that controversial defeat in Constanta last April, Konta was reduced to tears on court having been verbally abused by then Romanian captain Ilie Nastase.