Anne Keothavong, Australian Open 2011 - AP
 
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Tennis > Fed Cup

GB reach World Group II play-offs

GB reach World Group II play-offs

By Reuters
Last update The 05/02/2012 at 03:45 -
By Reuters - The 05/02/2012 at 03:45
Great Britain qualified for the Fed Cup World Group II play-offs after beating Austria in a play-off in Israel.
 

Victories from Anne Keothavong and Elena Baltacha secured the win to ensure a perfect start to Judy Murray's reign as team captain.

Britain had to win group matches against Portugal, the Netherlands and Israel to set up the play-off clash with the Austrians and they then proceeded to win the promotion play-off in style.

First up, Keothavong came from an early break down to defeat Austria's Patricia Mayr-Achleitner 7-6 (5) 6-3.

Then Elena Baltacha won the first 16 points against Tamira Paszek on her way to a dominant 6-1 6-4 victory to seal promotion.

"We did it! So, so happy right now! Great Britain Fed Cup team are just rocking it," said Keothavong on Twitter.

Britain have competed in every Fed Cup tournament since it began in 1963 but have never won it.

They have reached the final four times but not since 1981. Their World Group II play-off will take place in April.

Former world number one Serena Williams gave the United States a commanding 2-0 lead over Belarus after top ranked Victoria Azarenka was unable to compete for the eastern Europeans because of a sore lower back.

American Christina McHale defeated Belarus' Anastasia Yakimova 6-0 6-4, then Williams beat Olga Govortsova 7-5 6-0 in the World Group II tie indoors at Worcester, Massachusetts.

Australian Open champion Azarenka will be eligible to face Williams, if she responds to treatment, in the first match of the reverse singles on Sunday. A doubles match is also scheduled for Sunday.

Williams has been hampered by an injured ankle that she sustained before the Australian Open, but said it was improving.

"It's feeling fine," she said. "I'm surprised as how well it's doing considering. I'm actually really excited about the progress."

Former world number one Serena Williams gave the United States a commanding 2-0 lead over Belarus after top ranked Victoria Azarenka was unable to compete for the eastern Europeans because of a sore lower back.

American Christina McHale defeated Belarus' Anastasia Yakimova 6-0 6-4, then Williams beat Olga Govortsova 7-5 6-0 in the World Group II tie indoors at Worcester, Massachusetts.

Australian Open champion Azarenka will be eligible to face Williams, if she responds to treatment, in the first match of the reverse singles on Sunday. A doubles match is also scheduled for Sunday.

Williams has been hampered by an injured ankle that she sustained before the Australian Open, but said it was improving.

"It's feeling fine," she said. "I'm surprised as how well it's doing considering. I'm actually really excited about the progress."

 
 

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