AFP

Heather Watson and Johanna Konta enjoy victory as Great Britain thump Portugal

Watson and Konta enjoy victory as GB thump Portugal
By Eurosport

08/02/2017 at 17:51Updated 08/02/2017 at 22:22

Heather Watson got Great Britain's Fed Cup campaign off to a flying start with an emphatic straight sets win over Portugal's world number 546 Ines Murta in Estonia.

The British number two and world number 72 Watson won 6-1 6-1 to give her team an opening win in Pool C of the Europe/Africa Group One competition, which also includes Turkey and Latvia, in Tallinn.

World number 10 Konta overcame Michelle Larcher de Brito - ranked 246 in the world - 6-2 6-4 to secure the victory before Jocelyn Rae and Laura Robson enjoyed a win in the doubles with a 6-2 6-3 success against De Brito and Murta.

"I'm really happy to have got the match under my belt," said Konta. "It was a high-level match, and it got better and better as the match went on. She made me work for it in the end and I'm really happy to have come through for the team.

"We'll try to come back stronger every day."

New captain Anne Keothavong took charge of the team for the first time In Tallinn and in an interview on the British Tennis Twitter account, Watson praised her leadership so far.

"It was great having Annie there. She was great and she'll continue to do a great job and so far I've really been enjoying on the trip with her as captain," said Watson.

Britain are seeded third of the 14 countries in Tallin. They meet Latvia on Thursday before facing Turkey on Friday.

The winners of Group A meet the Group B winners on Saturday with the winners of that one progressing to a World Group II play-off in April.

If Great Britain can qualify for a play-off they could earn a first home Fed Cup tie in 24 years having losing at the play-off stage in Sweden and Argentina in recent years.

"The girls were really good, Heather got us off to a great start, she was the much more experienced player out there so pressure was on her to perform, and she delivered," said captain Keothavong, who has succeeded Judy Murray in the role.

"Jo, ever the professional, made a cracking start and it was a good fight from both of them, it was good quality tennis.

"She was made to work for it and worked up a good sweat, and in Laura and Joc, we saw fantastic doubles. I know they haven't played too much together but watching them play then, you'd never have thought that.

"They took charge and did what they had to do, so first day and a clean sheet – what more can I ask for?"

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