Great Britain reach Fed Cup World Group II with victory over Kazakhstan
Britain will compete at the Fed Cup's top table for the first time since 1995
Last Updated: 21/04/19 9:40pm
Great Britain secured a first Fed Cup promotion for 26 years as Johanna Konta and Katie Boulter's victories against Kazakhstan on Sunday sealed a place in World Group II.
Konta came from two breaks down in the deciding set to claim a 4-6 6-2 7-5 victory over Yulia Putitnseva, before Boulter bounced back from a heartbreaking loss on Saturday to beat Zarina Diyas 6-7 (1-7) 6-4 6-1.
The 3-1 play-off victory ensured Great Britain will compete at the Fed Cup's top table for the first time since the competition's format was changed in 1995.
"Amazing, just a heroic effort from the players this weekend," Great Britain captain Anne Keothavong said.
"Some fantastic tennis. This has been an unforgettable weekend."
Konta gave Putintseva a taste of her own medicine with a dramatic comeback to win the third rubber in.
Putintseva saved three match points in defeating Boulter on Saturday, and looked poised to give the visitors a 2-1 lead at London's Copper Box when she led Konta 4-1 in the deciding set and by two breaks of serve.
But Konta found the mark with her penetrating groundstrokes just in time to claw her way back to 5-5, and a run of four games in a row completed the victory.
"As a young girl, as an athlete wanting to make it to the top of my sport, you can only dream of this stuff," Konta said after her 11th straight singles win in the competition.
"Gosh, that was one hell of a match, wasn't it?"
Boulter buried the demons of her defeat to complete the job, despite battling an injury she had picked up on Saturday.
The 22-year-old was pictured watching Konta with a hot water bottle resting on her right lower back and hip area, but Keothavong decided Boulter remained her best option, with Heather Watson so woefully out of form.
That looked a questionable decision when she trailed by a set and a break to 107th-ranked Diyas, but Boulter fought back admirably to ensure a decisive doubles rubber wasn't required.
"I was just coming out here trying to get one win for the team," Boulter said on court after her match.
"Johanna did such a great job. I'm so proud of these girls for what they've done, and I just wanted to make them proud today.
"I think I showed yesterday how much it means to me. I was so close but I just couldn't get over the line. I was so nervous, but I came back and I'm just so happy."
The victory currently secures Britain a place in World Group II, although the format of the competition for next season has not yet been decided.
Proposals for a 12-team finals in the mould of the revamped Davis Cup are reportedly at an advanced stage.
We have the tennis season covered from all angles via our website skysports.com/tennis. On the move? Head to our app for mobile devices and iPad, or follow our Twitter account @SkySportsTennis to join in the conversation.