(February 8, 2013) Great Britain has defeated Portugal in their second tie of the Fed Cup Euro/Africa Zone Group I competition.
In the first singles rubber, British No. 2 Laura Robson beat Margarida Moura 6-2, 6-1. Robson was always in command during the 64-minute encounter, moving out to a 4-0 lead, allowing her opponent holds in the fifth and seventh games of the opening set. In the second, the Briton raced out to a 5-0 lead before dropping her serve for the only time all day.
Speaking after the match, Robson said: “I’m very happy with the win, I felt quite rusty since I hadn’t played a match since Melbourne. It was nice to get the team off to a 1-0 lead before Heather’s match.”
In the second singles, British No. 1 Heather Watson was defeated by Michelle Larcher de Brito 6-1, 6-4 in 67 minutes. The Portuguese dominated throughout allowing Watson to hold only in the fourth game of the opening set. In the second, Watson fought back twice from a break down at 0-1 and 2-4 only to lose her serve each time, most crucially at 4-all. Reflecting on her match, the British No. 1 commented: “I didn’t play good at all today, I just didn’t feel the ball well. My opponent on the other hand played fantastic, and when mix those two, that’s what happens.”
In the deciding doubles, Robson and Watson combined strongly to score an emphatic 6-2, 6-1 victory to win the tie 2-1. The Brits broke in the fourth and eighth games to move a set in front and only allowed the Portuguese team of Michelle Larcher de Brito and Joana Vale Costa a break of serve in the third game of the second set, taking the match in 55 minutes. After the match, Watson said: “I’m very happy that i could turn it around in the doubles. I think Laura and I are a great team and we combine really well together. We were very excited to get the win and put Great Britain through.”
Speaking after the tie, Captain Judy Murray said, “Laura got us off to a great start with a comfortable straight sets win over the Portuguese no. 2. Heather struggled to find her best form against a very solid Larcher de Brito and that put us into a deciding doubles rubber. Heather and Laura continued their unbeaten Fed Cup doubles run to give us a 2-1 win. Tomorrow we face Hungary who are also unbeaten in Group B and a win would take us into a promotion play off on Sunday.
The GB Fed Cup Team will now face Hungary in tomorrow’s third group tie at 09:30 local time (07:30 GMT) and a victory would see Great Britain play the winners of Group D on Sunday for a play off position, to determine who would face the Group A & C winners, either at home or away in April.
For more information go to www.LTA.org.uk/FedCup.