Katie Boulter and Johanna Konta were the British heroines once again as the home nation surged into what is effectively a final on Saturday against Serbia. “I sat here yesterday and said, ‘I put everything into that,’” sighed Boulter after winning a 2hr 22min epic over the former Wimbledon junior champion Dalma Galfi of Hungary. “And I can tell you the same thing today.”
After three ties, Great Britain have maintained a 100 per cent record, dropping a few sets but not yet a rubber. Thus far, history is repeating itself from 1993 – the last time the Fed Cup was staged in this country, when Clare Wood led the team to five successive 3-0 wins in Nottingham.
Serbia will be no pushovers, though. Their top player, Alexandra Krunic, scored an upset victory over Konta at the 2017 US Open. She is one of the fastest players around the court, an unpredictable character who hits purple patches as often as she loses the plot. As for their likely No2, Olga Danilovic, she is a fast-rising 18-year-old who has already won a WTA title – an achievement matched by few teenagers around the world.
Ideally, the British captain Anne Keothavong will be hoping that her two main singles players can maintain their unbeaten run. The inexperienced doubles pairing of Katie Swan and Harriet Dart have won both their matches this week, but on each occasion they were playing a dead rubber. It would be a major escalation to expect them to play for the main prize.