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Summary

  1. Johanna Konta levels tie with 6-4 6-2 win over Kurumi Nara
  2. Heather Watson loses 6-2 6-3 to Naomi Osaka in opening match
  3. GB team: Johanna Konta, Heather Watson, Gabriella Taylor & Anna Smith
  4. Japan team: Naomi Osaka, Kurumi Nara, Miyu Kato & Makoto Niomiya
  5. Best of five tie - reverse singles & doubles on Sunday
  6. Winners will be promoted into World Group for 2019

Live Reporting

All times stated are UK

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Johanna Konta heads Great Britain's Fed Cup team for their match with Japan in the World Group II play-offs.

Wimbledon semi-finalist, and British number one, Konta and Heather Watson are the singles players for the tie on hard courts at the Bourbon Beans Dome in Miki, Japan.

Doubles specialist Anna Smith and debutant Gabi Taylor also feature.

Britain have not played in the World Group since 1993.

A win would secure their place in World Group II in 2019 but a loss would mean they return to the Europe/Africa Zone next year.

Saturday, 21 April

04:45-09:00 BST- Connected TV and online

Johanna Konta and Heather Watson
Getty Images

Last time out

Great Britain qualified for the Fed Cup World Group II play-offs in February with a 2-1 victory over Croatia.

The tie was decided in the final doubles contest, with Johanna Konta and Heather Watson beating Ana Konjuh and Darija Jurak 4-6 6-4 6-3.

British number two Watson beat Donna Vekic 6-2 6-4 to give GB the lead in Tallinn, Estonia.

But leading Briton Konta lost 6-4 6-3 to Konjuh in the following singles match as the tie went to a decider.

Heather Watson and Johanna Konta celebrating
Getty Images

Fed Cup format

Unlike the men's team competition, the Davis Cup, which has a World Group of 16 nations, the Fed Cup divides its top teams into two groups of eight - World Group I and World Group II.

The 91 nations outside the top tiers are divided into three regional zones and Britain have one chance per year to escape.

Get Inspired: How to get involved in Tennis

Get Inspired

#GetInspired

When Wimbledon arrives each summer, tennis captivates the nation for two weeks.

But that's not the full story - Brits of all ages are switched on all year round, with nearly a million swishing their racquet once a month. It's not hard to see why.

It's fun and accessible across a vast range of fitness levels and abilities.Have you been inspired to play tennis after watching Wimbledon, or one of the other three Grand Slams, or perhaps the Olympics and Paralympic Games?

There are over 20,000 tennis courts in the UK where you can go and play the game and thousands of clubs and park courts who can provide racquets and balls if you don't have your own.

If you are looking for a singles game, find a Local Tennis League near you. No matter what your standard, once you have answered a few easy questions you will be allocated into a small group of 6-8 so you are guaranteed a friendly, competitive match. There are over 150 leagues and 15,000+ players across the UK.

The British weather can be notoriously unkind, but there are many options to play indoors: this is how the tennis season keeps going throughout the year.

The Lawn Tennis Association have a number of different schemes such as Go Hit It,Tennis Tuesdays and Advantage tennis training, so while you might not have a backhand like Andy Murray to start with, you'll soon see your game improve.

Learn how to serve with Kristyna Pliskova