Johanna Konta and Katie Boulter win to help Great Britain beat Hungary
GB will face Serbia in Bath on Saturday for a place in World Group II play-off in April
Last Updated: 08/02/19 11:58pm
Great Britain came through another epic Fed Cup tussle with Johanna Konta sealing a win over Hungary and booking a place in the Europe/Africa play-off with Serbia on Saturday.
After Katie Boulter had required another three-set epic, her third of the week, to beat Dalma Galfi in the opening rubber on Friday, British No 1 Konta was forced to battle back from a break down in the third set of her match with Anna Bondar before sealing victory.
Four of the six sets played on the day went to tie-breaks and a finish past 11pm will mean a tough turnaround for Anne Keothavong's team, who as winners of Group A will now face Group B winners Serbia.
Konta triumphed 6-2 6-7 (1-7) 7-6 (7-4) over her opponent, the world no 224 to seal the team's victory after Boulter, relishing the atmosphere at the University of Bath, had claimed the opening rubber with a 6-4 6-7 (5-7) 7-6 (7-1) win.
Konta was pushed all the way by an inspired Bondar whose powerful serve won her a host of points but it was Konta who made the brighter start breaking Bondar's serve in the first game and never looked back.
Konta wasted nine break points in the second set and it cost her as Bondar levelled the match up with a dominant tie-break before a thrilling decider that also went the distance.
It was a marathon final set, where both players saved break points at key times, and Bondar taking the early initiative with the first break but Konta's experience eventually told as she prevailed in a nerve-shredding tie-break.
Earlier in the day, Boulter, the British No 2, got GB off to the perfect start.
Having beaten Greece on Thursday after seeng off Slovenia on Wednesday in their first home tie in the tournament for 26 years, GB looked to be cruising when Boulter moved 5-1 in front before surviving a fightback to take the first set 6-4.
Galfi, the world no 311, claimed a second set tie-break before moving a break clear in the final set. Ultimately Boulter was to prevail.
"It was very difficult to keep my head straight and I just wanted to zone in again and put the towel on my head and focus on the floor a little bit and I thought I did well to bounce back," she said.
"My whole heart I put on that line there and I did the absolute best I could and it was just about enough."
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