Johanna Konta showed plenty of character as she fought back from a set down to claim victory in the opening rubber of Great Britain’s Fed Cup showdown against Kazakhstan but day one ended with the tie level.
British number one Konta defeated Zarina Diyas 4-6 6-3 6-2 to earn her tenth successive win in the Fed Cup singles and put the hosts 1-0 up in the World Group II play-off encounter.
But it was heartbreak for Katie Boulter in the second rubber as she lost a tie break in the third set to go down to Yulia Putintseva 6-3 2-6 6-7 (6-8) as the Kazakh number one levelled the tie.
The pressure will now be on the reverse singles and doubles rubber on Sunday – and after coming through her tough examination, Konta admitted she had to dig deep to get the win.
“I’m obviously very happy to have gotten that first rubber under our belt for the team,” she said. “More than anything I was quite proud of my perfromance out there, it was quite tough.
“At the beginning she was playing very well and I really had to find the level and the game to be able to compete against her and come through in the end.
“So I was just happy I was able to do that. It’s hard to put into words [what the atmosphere was like] because I don’t think anything really justifies what it’s like.
“You have to be there on court and feel it. They’re super loud, they’re super supportive, they’re really with you for every single point win or lose. They’re living the whole match with you.”