Laura Robson and Heather Watson scored an impressive straight sets win in the final doubles match of Britain's clash with Portugal to lead to the team to its second consecutive Fed Cup victory.

Robson and Watson, Britain's top womens' singles players and London Olympics doubles partners, needed less than an hour to despatch Portugal's Michelle Larcher de Brito and Joana Costa 6-2, 6-1 in the final tie of their Fed Cup match in the Israeli city Eilat.


"Laura got us off to a great start with a comfortable straight sets win over the Portuguese no. 2.," said Team GB coach Judy Murray. "Heather struggled to find her best form against a very solid Larcher de Brito and that put us into a deciding doubles rubber."

The doubles win followed an easy 6-2, 6-1 victory for Robson over Margarida Moura earlier in the session and offset a surprise loss 6-1, 6-4 for Watson, currently ranked at number 41 in the world, to De Brito, a former star pupil of the IMG Bolletteri Tennis Academy.

"I felt quite rusty since I hadn't played a match since Melbourne," said Robson. "It was nice to get the team off to a 1-0 lead before Heather's match."

"I'm very happy that I could turn it around in the doubles," countered Watson. "I think Laura and I are a great team and we combine really well together. We were very excited to get the win and put Great Britain through."

The 2-1 team victory puts Britain at the top of Pool B in Group 1 in the Europe/Africa zone of the global Fed Cup competition after wiping out Bosnia & Herzegovina 3-0 earlier in the week.

Britain will next face Hungary, led by veteran Greta Arn and her promising young doubles partner Timea Babos, on Saturday for the right to move onto the Group semi-final stage against the winner of Pool D, which includes Slovenia, Bulgaria, Luxembourg and the Netherlands.

Britain's complicated path to the top tier of the Fed Cup's hierarchy - known as the World Group - requires wins at both the Pool level and the Group level to move onto next stage of the year-long competition, the World Group II play-offs, which being in April.

Last year, the women narrowly missed out on a chance for promotion to the World Group after a 4-1 loss to Sweden in the World Group II play-offs in Boras, just outside of Gothenburg.

This year's team is coached by Murray, mother of US Open champion Andy, and includes former British number one Anne Keothavong and Elena Baltacha.

Britain's Fed Cup team ended last season's competition ranked eighteenth out of the 94 nations participating. GB's best result in the 50-year old tournament was a runner-up spot in 1981 - 12 years before Robson was born.