Brilliant Baltacha books Britain's qualification
Great Britain moved within one tie of advancing to the World Group II play-offs of the Fed Cup after they defeated Israel on Friday.
Elena Baltacha followed up Anne Keothavong's opening victory to seal the win for Judy Murray's side, as they topped Group C of the Europe/Africa Zone to book a semi-final contest against Austria on Saturday.
With Keothavong seeing off Julia Glushko 6-2 6-1in the opening match of the final tie, Baltacha ensured Britain would go through the group unbeaten as she saw off Shahar Peer 6-4 6-3.
It was a strong performance from Baltacha, who fell behind early in the second set but rallied strongly to finish off the contest with the minimum of fuss. The performance was made doubly impressive due to the intimidating atmosphere she faced in Eilat, as a home crowd cheered former world No. 11 Peer, who also seemed to disrupt her opponent with a controversial injury timeout.
Nevertheless, the eventual victory, along with Keothavong's - her 19th in the Fed Cup, leaving her behind only Virginia Wade in Britain's all-time list - rendered meaningless the final doubles match involving Heather Watson and Laura Robson.
The work is not done, however, as the forthcoming contest against Austria could prove tight: World No. 48 Tamira Paszek is the highest ranked player in the match, while Patricia Mayr-Achleitner is also ranked in the top 100.