Fed Cup: Japan and Britain 1-1 after opening day

Britain's Johanna Konta returns a shot against Japan's Kurumi Nara during Fed Cup World Group play-off match Saturday April 21, 2018 in Miki, western Japan. (Meika Fujio/Kyodo News via AP)

MIKI, Japan — Johanna Konta has leveled Britain's Fed Cup World Group playoff against Japan with a 6-4, 6-2 win over Kurumi Nara on Saturday.

After taking a 3-0 lead in the second set, Konta broke Nara to lead 5-2 and then served for the win to level the playoff at 1-1.

Naomi Osaka, who claimed her first WTA title at Indian Wells in March, hit 11 aces to beat Heather Watson 6-2, 6-3 in the opening singles.

Konta will face Osaka in Sunday's first reverse singles while Watson takes on Nara in the fourth rubber. Miyu Kato and Makoto Ninomiya will face Anna Smith and Gabriella Taylor in the doubles.

Britain won both of the previous two meetings between the two teams — in Johannesburg in 1972 and Nagoya in 1985.

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