Robson and Watson give Murray optimism in Cup

Judy Murray is confident the recent progress made by Laura Robson and Heather Watson gives her Fed Cup team a fighting chance of advancing to the World Group for the first time in 20 years.

Great Britain open their 2013 campaign today in Eilat, Israel with a Europe/Africa Pool B fixture against Bosnia-Herzegovina before clashes with Portugal and Hungary.

Should they top the pool and then come through a weekend meeting with the winners of Pool D, they would move into a World Group II play-off in April.

They got to that stage last year only to lose 4-1 to Sweden.

Fast forward 10 months and team captain Murray believes they are well-placed to go one better and take their spot in the top 16 nations in the world.

She said: “Elena (Baltacha) and Annie (Keothavong) headed up the singles last year and did an unbelievable job out here to get us out of the group.

“The younger members of the squad – Laura and Heather – have had a very exciting 12 months, they have pushed their ranking inside the top 50 and they are getting towards the top 40, which is a fabulous achievement. It means there is a slightly different dynamic in the team with regards the singles rankings.”