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Boulter seals GB’s Fed Cup promotion

Great Britain ended a 26-year wait for Fed Cup promotion when Katie Boulter came from behind to beat Zarina Diyas to seal a play-off win…

Great Britain ended a 26-year wait for Fed Cup promotion when Katie Boulter came from behind to beat Zarina Diyas to seal a play-off win over Kazakhstan.

British number one Johanna Konta had put GB one win away from World Group II with a stunning comeback in a 4-6, 6-2, 7-5 win over Yulia Putintseva.

Boulter trailed by a set and a break – and was troubled by a back problem – before beating Diyas 6-7 (1-7), 6-4, 6-1.

The win put Britain 3-1 up in the best-of-five tie at London’s Copper Box.

After watching Konta come from 4-1 down in the deciding set to beat Kazakh number one Putintseva, Boulter knew victory in her match would seal the tie for Britain.

Boulter admitted she was “struggling physically” during her defeat by Putintseva on Saturday and although she swiftly took a 2-0 lead in the opening set, she repeatedly sat with a hot water bottle on her back during changeovers.

Diyas – who Konta needed two hours and 38 minutes to beat on Saturday – started to find her groove and responded to take the set to a tie-break.

Boulter admitted Saturday’s dramatic defeat – which came despite her holding three match points – would stay in her mind “for a long time” and she seemed nervous – only picking up one point as Diyas comfortably won the tie-break 7-1.

The Kazakh gained the advantage in the second set too but was seemingly distracted by a car alarm seconds before double-faulting and allowing Boulter to break back at 2-2.

 

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