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Konta to lead Fed Cup challenge

Konta to lead Fed Cup challenge

ANNE Keothavong, Team GBŠ—Ès new Fed Cup captain, admits she is Š—“luckyŠ— to have Jo Konta who was unable to join the Fed Cup team for last yearŠ—Ès campaign.

She will make a formidable opponent for any player

ANNE Keothavong, Team GBŠ—Ès new Fed Cup captain, admits she is Š—“luckyŠ— to have Jo Konta who was unable to join the Fed Cup team for last yearŠ—Ès campaign.

Keothavong, who has replaced Judy Murray, includes the British No.1 for the

Europe/Africa Group 1 tie at the Tallink Tennis Centre, Tallinn, Estonia from February 8-11.

World top-tenner Konta, preparing for this yearŠ—Ès Australian Open in which she made the semi-finals last year, has made a decent start to 2017 with new coach Wim Fissette.

The Eastbourne-based ace has made the semi-finals of the Shenzhen Open in China and overcame home favourite Arina Rodionova, a lucky loser, in straight sets at the Sydney International despite 40 degree temperatures.

Konta has been named along with Heather Watson, the reigning Wimbledon mixed doubles champion, and 2012 Olympic silver medalist Laura Robson, plus Joceyln Rae, who struck gold with Colin Fleming in the 2010 Commonwealth Games in Delhi.

Keothavong said: Š—“IŠ—Èm delighted to name the four players for my first tie as captain in Estonia.

Š—“In Johanna Konta we are lucky to have a player who is at the very top of the game right now.

Š—“She will make a formidable opponent for any player. Along with Jo, we have fantastic experience in Heather and Laura, with nearly 40 Fed Cup rubbers between them, and Joss Rae gives us a strong doubles option.

Š—“There are some great personalities in this line up and a robust team spirit will be key to supporting us through this tricky format.

Š—“We are not underestimating the challenge in front of us, there are strong nations in this group, and our ambition has to be to progress and take this team where it belongs, into the World Group.Š—

Two changes can be made until the team is confirmed on February 7.

Tara McGregor-Woodhams, Head of Brand and Sponsorship Aegon UK, said: Š—“We wish Anne and all of the Aegon GB Fed Cup team the very best of luck in Estonia.

"It has been an incredible year for British tennis, especially for Jo Konta and her terrific rise through the rankings, and we are so proud to support all of the team.Š—

The draw for the round-robin in the Europe/Africa Zone Group 1 is on January 16.

The round-robin will be between February 8-10. Pool winners will compete on the 11th and two will move forward to the World Group 11 playoffs on April 22-23.

The nations bottom of the pool compete in play-offs with two relegated to Europe/Africa Zone Group II next year.

About The Author

Mike Donovan

Mike Donovan is a journalist and author who has covered tennis for more than 20 years. He was tennis correspondent on Today, the first all-electronic, all-colour newspaper, and contributed to the official Wimbledon website. He has scribed for most national dailies and magazines on the sport of the fuzzy green ball, as the late Bud Collins used to describe tennis. Mike has twice won British Sports Writer of the Year awards. He is the author of a variety of football books and has one coming out on Pitch Publishing in September called ‘Glory Glory Lane’, about the 118-year history of Tottenham Hotspur at White Hart Lane.

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