Murray hails 'perfect' opener

  • Last Updated: February 8 2013, 7:37 GMT

Great Britain got their Fed Cup campaign off to a "perfect" start with a 3-0 victory over Bosnia on Thursday.

Anne Keothavong: Gave GB a winning start in Israel
Anne Keothavong: Gave GB a winning start in Israel

Singles wins for Anne Keothavong and Heather Watson ensured Judy Murray's team started the Europe/Africa Zone Group I matches in Israel in perfect fashion and Laura Robson and Johanna Konta wrapped up the whitewash with a 'double bagel' doubles success.

Keothavong got GB off to a flying start. The current British number four, playing in her 39th Fed Cup tie, saw off Dea Herdzelas 6-4 6-2 in Eilat.

After service breaks were traded in the opening two games, Keothavong edged ahead in a tight first set and served out at 5-4 despite falling 0-30 down.

The second set proved more comfortable for the Briton with breaks in games three and seven seeing her ease to a straight-sets victory over her 16-year-old opponent.

Keothavong, 29, is now in second place in GB's all-time appearance list in the competition, with only Virginia Wade having represented her country in more Fed Cup ties.

She said: "I haven't had a lot of matches lately so that probably explains the slow start. I don't think we gave each other a lot of rhythm the difference was I was able to use my experience better in the second set.

"I'm not overly pleased with the match but a win is a win and I'm glad I was able to get the team off to a winning start."

British number one Watson followed Keothavong onto court and duly dispatched Anita Husaric.

A double break of serve gave the Briton the first set and another break in the final game of the second set saw her claim a 6-3 6-4 win.

Watson commented: "I didn't play the greatest. I suppose I was a bit nervous playing my first singles match for Team GB. But looking on the bright side I'm glad I pulled it though and will hopefully improve tomorrow."

Robson and debutante Konta then teamed up and destroyed Jelena Simic and Jasmina Kajtazovic in the doubles, winning 6-0 6-0.

Reflecting on the day, skipper Murray said: "Today was the perfect start for our team. Everybody played, everybody won."

On her team selection, she explained: "I selected Laura to play doubles because this is a tough week. You play matches on four consecutive days. It's very important to spread the load across the whole team."

GB, whose opening tie had been held over from Wednesday due to rain, are looking to become one of two teams who will progress from Europe/Africa Zone Group I, as they did last year.

They will need to finish top of Group B, which also features Portugal and Hungary, and then win a play-off to do so.

Their second match will be against Portugal on Friday. The Portuguese lost their opener 3-0 to Hungary on Thursday.

Looking ahead to that match, Murray said: "Tomorrow I would anticipate tougher opposition. Portugal will have Michelle Larcher de Brito, ranked number 130.

"The fact they are without their best player Maria Koehler is a bonus for us.

"We just have to take each match as it comes and look to set ourselves up for a group play-off against Hungary on Saturday."

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