Muguruza downs Konta to face Azarenka

On a day of attrition and compassion in Rome, Friday’s play at the Internazionali BNL d’Italia saw Johanna Konta fall to Garbiñe Muguruza, Victoria Azarenka comfort an injured Daria Kasatkina after a nasty tumble, and top seeds Simona Halep and Karolina Plíšková...

Nadal not obsessed with records

The two tournament favourites draw closer to settling this year’s Rome Masters 1000 title as they successfully reached the last eight on opposing sides of the draw with the second seeded Rafa Nadal seemingly having the easier passage so far.

Musetti continues his Roman run

At four-all in the second set the lights went out during the Italian Open which could have disrupted the concentration of Italy’s emerging starlet, the 18-year-old Lorenzo Musetti, who was on his way to eliminating another top player from the Rome Masters listings.

ATP and WTA Kremlin Cup tournaments cancelled

The ATP and WTA jointly announced on Friday that the 2020 Kremlin Cup tournaments in Moscow have been cancelled by a mandate from health officials in the Russian capital, where there has been a surge in coronavirus infections.

Osaka withdraws from Paris, fans reduced

Japan’s Naomi Osaka has withdrawn from the upcoming French Open with a hamstring injury, while the FFT is reducing the number of fans that will be allowed to attend Roland Garros due to the worsening coronavirus situation in the country.

On the day of the Bagel 

Bagels are pretty rare in pro tennis but in Rome on Thursday, Johanna Konta and Victoria Azarenka scored three between them - Konta taking one against clay-court specialist Irina-Camelia Begu, 6-0 6-4, while just five days after losing the US Open final, Azarenka...

Battling mental health issues to return to the court

In a short film released this week, the LTA follows 38-year-old tennis player Steven McCann from North London, as he shares his inspirational story of battling addiction to reignite his love and passion for the sport. The feature brings to life Steven’s journey to...

Fans to return in Paris

No one at the beginning of this Covid year could have predicted that we here at Tennis Threads would be writing the French Open in September, just a couple of weeks after the US Open had concluded!

Fed Cup rebrands as the Billie Jean King Cup

Tying in with the 50th Anniversary of the Fed Cup, the women’s team competition has been re-named the Billie Jean King Cup by the ITF, it was announced at a virtual press conference on Thursday.

Halep and Plíšková start Rome campaigns

Top seed Simona Halep overcame an early scare as she was broken 5 times by local wildcard Jasime Paolini in her opening match of the Internazionali BNL d’Italia, but moved into the second round smoothly enough, 6-3 6-4, on Wednesday, while No 2 seed Karolina Plíšková...
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GB gears up for next weekend’s playoffs

Following the disappointing Davis Cup result last weekend, attention is now turning to the Fed Cup World Group II playoffs where the British team is looking for promotion.

This is the first time in four years we are in this position and I know everyone is excited by the opportunity

The team led by BritainŠ—Ès number one player and world number 7, face the daunting task of oversetting Romania who in turn are expected to be led by the world number five, Simona Halep, on the clay of the ConstantaŠ—Ès Tenis Club IDU.

Britain Š—– who have not won the Fed Cup or as it was previously known, the Federation Cup since the inception of the competition in 1963 Š—– are attempting to get back into the top level of the competition for the first time since 1993.

The team will be relying on Konta to maintain the form which saw her win the Miami Open earlier this month and she will be supported by Heather Watson, Laura Robson and doubles specialist Jocelyn Rae with 18-year-old Katie Swan going along for the experience.

Watson has had a poor run over recent months and her ranking has dropped dramatically to 110 but she has in the past risen to the occasion when it came to represent her country having recorded 25 wins against seven losses in singles and doubles. She was also unbeaten during the Europe/Africa Zone Group stage last February when the team gained its place in next weekendŠ—Ès playoffs.

The team, when captained by Judy Murray, made the playoffs in 2012 and 2013 but were unsuccessful leading Murray to resign from the captaincy in some frustration.

Anne Keothavong replaced her and so far, has been successful, but she would love to make the breakthrough which eluded her predecessor. "I am delighted to name the same team who represented us so strongly back in February for our group wins in Estonia to enable us to get through to this play-off,Š— she said.

"Fed Cup is a unique privilege to wear your nation’s colours and it’s something I know all of our team takes great pride in. This is the first time in four years we are in this position and I know everyone is excited by the opportunity.

"Romania have a first-class team and will have home advantage on their best surface. We are very much the underdogs.

"That being said, we have an excellent team spirit with lots of combined Fed Cup experience and Johanna is playing the best tennis of her career."

The full Romanian team has yet to be confirmed but Simona Halep is certainly expected to be at the forefront of their campaign with their captain Ilie Nastase able to select other players who are currently in the top 100.



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