BUENOS AIRES, ARGENTINA: Great Britain were level at 1-1 with Argentina after the opening singles matches in their Fed Cup by BNP Paribas World Group II play-off at Parque Roca and confident of success on Sunday.
Laura Robson leveled for the visiting team with a crushing 61 61 win over Florencia Molinero after the Argentine No. 1 Paula Ormaechea had beaten singles debutant Johanna Konta 63 62.
Robson, the highest ranked player in the tie, said she would have no trouble playing two matches on Sunday if necessary even if the singles was against an in-form Ormaechea.
“I’ve already done my ice bath, I’m well recovered, I’ve played singles and doubles on the same day many times before,” Robson told the post-match press conference.
“Jo had a tough one, Ormaechea had a very good match this morning. I knew I had to play very well and be focused the whole match, tomorrow will obviously be very even.
“Today [Ormaechea] was very aggressive with her forehand and mixing the height of the ball. I’ll need to be aggressive and disrupt her rhythm,” she said after watching the first set of the opening match.
“I’ll have make a few less double faults, there are little things the result can hang on.”
Robson and Konta both enjoyed the atmosphere at the clay court stadium created by Argentina’s colourful and loud “hinchada loca” fans with their drums, trumpets and chants.
“I like the music and all, it helps to fire me up, I hope they come back tomorrow,” Robson said.
“You guys had many more instruments than us, we have to make much more noise tomorrow,” she added of the maracas and drums her British team mates used to counter the home support.
It was to be expected that Ormaechea would beat Konta in the British girl’s singles debut, particularly on clay.
The Argentine No. 1 had the more varied game and played the lines better while Konta tried to disrupt her rhythm coming to the net but with mixed results.
Ormaechea, whose tactic was to play to Konta’s backhand, went 4-0 up then hit an error-riddled patch as she tried to wrap up the first set quickly and was pegged back by Konta’s first break.
“[Konta] did pretty well today, it was a tough challenge, on clay, with a noisy crowd, there were a lot of things for her to deal with,” captain Judy Murray said.
“From 4-0 down to 4-3 she played very smart, then she lost her way again... I hope she enjoyed the experience and learnt from it.”
A similar run of four straight games put Ormaechea 4-1 up in the second set before she was broken again but that was a mere hiccup before going on to win on her first match point.
“I’m very happy with my game,” Ormaechea said. “I think I had a plus which is that she helped me by not playing at her best,” Ormaechea said.
“My tactics tomorrow will be different because [Robson] is left-handed… It will be tough, Robson is a player who tomorrow I’m sure will be even better, and so will Konta. The first matches are always difficult.
“I mustn’t let her hurry me, stick to my gameplan come what may,” Ormaechea added.
Konta said: “The court’s great, huge, and the crowd was very intense but it was an enjoyable experience, it’s nice to see how behind their players the crowd get.
“I think [Ormaechea] played a great match, solid all the way through, she’s more experienced than me in these situations. The more I play on this kind of court, the better I’ll get.
“I have a good feeling for tomorrow, I think I’ve got my nerves out of the way and I think I’ll manage better.”
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Laura Robson (GBR) - 20/04/2013
Paula Ormaechea (ARG) - 20/04/2013