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LTA WEBSITE - 4/02/2009

AEGON GB Fed Cup team began their 2009 campaign

AEGON GB Fed Cup team began their 2009 campaign in impressive style, defeating Hungary 3-0 in Tallinn, Estonia.

The team, captained by Nigel Sears, is competing in Euro/Africa Zone Group I, with the first three days a round robin tournament. Drawn in a group with Netherlands, Luxembourg and Hungary, a win on day one was vital and, with Hungary arguably the strongest team in the group, the team was expecting a tough day.

British No. 3 Elena Baltacha played the opening rubber for GB and looked full of confidence the moment she took to the court. Baltacha was facing Greta Arn, a 29 year old who is currently ranked 155 in the world.

Although it was Arn who got the first break of serve, Baltacha broke back to level the set at 5-5 and broke the Hungarian's serve for a second time to win the first set 7-5.

Baltacha was equally dominant in the second set and raced to a 5-0 lead. Although Arn raised her game slightly, it was too little too late with Baltacha giving Team GB the first point with a 7-5 6-3 victory.

Anne Keothavong was equally impressive in her 6-3 6-2 victory over world number 25 Agnes Szavay.

Keothavong got her first break in the fifth game when some ferocious groundstrokes left her opponents gasping at the back of the court and, clearly rattled, Szavay double faulted to drop her serve. Keothavong then broke for a second time to win the opening set 6-3.

A tense first game on Keothavong's serve, including four deuces was eventually won by the British player and Keothavong continued where she left off in the first set, breaking the Hungarian's serve to go 2-0 up.

At 5-2 with Szavay serving to stay in the match, the pressure and Keothavong's powerful groundstrokes were too much for the Hungarian who double faulted to give Keothavong a thoroughly deserved 6-3 6-2 victory.

Mel South and Sarah Borwell rounded off a perfect day for the British team with a 6-4 6-3 victory over Agnes Szavay and Katalin Marosi.

Speaking after the final match, captain Nigel Sears was delighted with his team's start: "It was a great start to the week. The girls all performed superbly today to beat arguably the toughest team in our group 3-0. We played this team 12 months ago and lost comprehensively so the result reflects how far these girls have come in a year. This is a tremendous boost for our confidence going into tomorrow's tie against Netherlands."

Great Britain will return to the courts at 10.00am local time (8am GMT) to begin their match against the Netherlands who defeated Luxembourg on day one.



by LTA



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