Johanna Konta looking forward to home support as Great Britain name exciting team for Fed Cup tie at Team Bath Tennis
Johanna Konta and Heather Watson have been named in a five-strong Great Britain team that will take to the tennis courts at the University of Bath Sports Training Village next month for the first Fed Cup by BNP Paribas tie staged in this country for 26 years.
The experienced duo will be joined by Katie Boulter, who has broken into the world’s top 100, Bristol’s Katie Swan and debutant Harriet Dart for the eagerly-awaited Europe/Africa Zone Group 1 tie, being staged on the indoor Team Bath Tennis courts from February 6-9.
Konta, a semi-finalist at both the Australian Open and Wimbledon, said: “I’ve always loved playing as part of the GB Fed Cup team and it’s great to be selected for the return of the Fed Cup to the UK for the first time in more than a quarter of a century.
“It’s going to be an incredible event and we can’t wait to experience the home support as we take on some of the best players in the world.”
GB captain Anna Keothavong added: “I’m delighted to name our strongest possible team to represent Great Britain at next month’s Fed Cup by BNP Paribas Euro Africa Zone Group 1 in Bath.
“In Jo and Heather we have our most experienced team leaders, who have competed in more than 50 ties combined. Katie Boulter wore the GB shirt last year for the first time and since then has risen inside the world’s Top 100.
“Katie Swan is a local Bristol girl and made a fantastic debut in 2016 as the youngest ever to represent us at this event and making her Fed Cup debut will be Harriet Dart, who also made giant strides in the last 12 months since a semi-final run in mixed doubles at Wimbledon.”
The latter duo are no strangers to the Team Bath Tennis courts – Swan did some training there as a youngster, while Dart has competed in the Aegon GB Pro-Series Event.
Great Britain will be one of eight nations – including Serbia, Croatia, Hungary, Turkey, Greece, Georgia and Slovenia – split into two groups competing at the University of Bath to secure one qualification spot for the Fed Cup World Group II Play Offs in April.
The draw to determine which three nations Great Britain will face in their group will be done at 1pm UK time on January 14, 2019. Each team will play one nation (two singles and a doubles) each day from Wednesday through Friday inclusive (Great Britain will play afternoon sessions starting not before 16:30). On Saturday the winners from each group advance to the promotional match to decide who will advance to April’s World Group II Play Off.
“We’ll know more in a week’s time who the other three nations will be in our group,” said Keothavong. “It won’t be easy, that’s for sure, but it’s a challenge we relish and hope to give the home crowd something to cheer about. It’s very important to the team to open up our sport and bring it to new audiences at different times of the year.”