April 23, 2019
Great Britain’s comeback queens ended a 26-year wait for Fed Cup promotion with a courageous victory over Kazakhstan in London.
For sheer guts, mental strength and a stubborn refusal to be beaten, the Brits outshone some very famous tennis names – male superstars who are normally known for precisely these qualities, but faltered elsewhere instead. Their heroics rounded off an extraordinary few days for tennis
Johanna Konta and Katie Boulter both looked doomed to defeat before they dug deep to build an unassailable lead for their team and ensure GB’s place in World Group II.
Up in London, the crowd at the Copper Box Arena went crazy as Konta came back from 1-4 and two breaks down in the final set to beat Yulia Putintseva 4-6, 6-2, 7-5 on Easter Sunday.
Konta said to the crowd afterwards: ‘We were all in it, together weren’t we? You can only dream of this stuff. Gosh, that was one hell of a match.’
That edged GB into a 2-1 lead. But then it was over to Katie Boulter. She had been distraught after squandering match points the previous day. This time, despite being a set and a break down at one stage, she came back to triumph 6-7 (1-7), 6-4, 6-1 over Zarina Diyas.
Boulter said: ‘I showed yesterday how much it meant; I was so close. Today I bounced back and got the win. We go again!’
That decisive victory sparked incredible scenes of team celebration in front of the fans. Team captain Anne Keothavong said: ‘Amazing. Just a heroic effort from the players, everyone here has been part of our journey.’
Meanwhile Andy Murray will have got even more joy out of this remarkable Easter of tennis, having sent the GB ladies a good luck message then watched all the drama unfold on TV.