British doubles pair Johanna Konta and Heather Watson through in doubles

Published: Wednesday 20th January 2016 by The News Editor

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British doubles pair Johanna Konta and Heather Watson set up a Fed Cup selection showdown as together they eased into the second round of the Australian Open.

The duo beat 16th seeds Gabriela Dabrowski and Alicja Rosolska in 6-1 7-6 (9/7) at Melbourne Park and they will now face Jocelyn Rae and Anna Smith in an all-British clash.

Rae and Smith beat Chinese pair Chen Liang and Shuai Peng 3-6 6-2 7-6 (7/2).

Konta and Watson are likely to be handed the two singles spots next month for Britain’s Europe/Africa Zone Group I matches against Georgia and South Africa but the doubles team is less clear-cut.

Doubles specialists Rae and Smith, ranked 80th in the world, have played together consistently for two and a half years and are also in Judy Murray’s squad.

Konta and Watson made their case on Court 5, with an impressive victory over Canada’s Dabrowski and Poland’s Rosolska.

The Britons raced out of the blocks, breaking Dabrowski’s serve in the very first game before sealing the opening set in just 30 minutes when the Canadian dumped a volley into the net.

Konta and Watson then stormed into a 5-1 lead in the second and despite shipping four consecutive games, they held their nerve to secure victory in the tie-break.

Rae and Smith’s progression was less comfortable as they had to come from a set down, winning a final set tie-break to go through.

Published: Wednesday 20th January 2016 by The News Editor

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