Great Britain beat Portugal in Fed Cup

Last Updated February 07 2018, 16:58Tennis
Johanna Konta
Johanna Konta

Victories for Johanna Konta and Heather Watson gave Great Britain a convincing start to their Fed Cup campaign with a dominant win against Portugal in Tallinn.

With no players in their quartet ranked in the top 500, Portugal were not expected to put up much resistance and Watson and Konta did their jobs professionally.

Watson got off to a shaky start against 17-year-old Francisca Jorge, trailing 3-1, but recovered to win 6-4 6-2 while Konta needed just 49 minutes to defeat Maria Joao Koehler 6-1 6-0.

As fate would have it, the tie came on the same day that the result of Ilie Nastase's appeal was announced following his shocking conduct during last April's World Group II play-off against Romania.

The former world number one, who was Romania captain for the tie, had his ban reduced but his fine doubled for offences including inappropriate conduct towards GB captain Anne Keothavong and verbal abuse of Keothavong, Johanna Konta and match officials.

Nastase's behaviour somewhat overshadowed Britain's defeat, which condemned the side to another year in the Europe/Africa Zone.

Keothavong's team must top their round-robin group and then win a play-off on Saturday to give themselves another shot of getting into World Group II.

The crunch match is likely to come on Friday when they take on hosts Estonia, who boast two top-70 players in Anett Kontaveit and Kaia Kanepi.

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