The Great Britain Fed Cup team have started their 2018 campaign with a win, after defeating Portugal.
The Fed Cup puts 16 teams into two World Groups, with the remaining nations divided into regional groups. If a team can win a playoff match against an existing World League nation, they will take that team’s place in the World League for next year.
In 2017, the British team had just that chance, but were defeated by Romania on the clay.
In order to get back to a game of that magnitude, Britain will need to win their pool, then a playoff against another regional pool winner.
Thankfully for Britain, things got off to a good start. Drawn into a pool with Portugal and Estonia, the tri-series is taking place in Tallinn.
Johanna Konta and Heather Watson both got through their singles rubbers, before victory in the doubles for Anna Smith and Katie Boulter made the score an unassailable 3-0.
Britain haven’t been in the Fed Cup World Groups since 1993, but with Konta getting better seemingly by the day and Heather Watson able to play a role, team captain Anne Keothavong must be quietly hoping for a return.
Great Britain will face a home crowd when they meet Estonia in the second pool match.