London | Team GB in BJK Cup Play-Off action at the Copper Box this weekend

As the top 12 national teams vie for honours at the Billie Jean King Cup Finals in Seville this week, the next tier of nations will compete in the competition Play-Offs this weekend, including Great Britain who will face Sweden at the Copper Box Arena in Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park from 11-12 November.

I’m delighted that all of our strongest ranked players have made themselves available for the Billie Jean King Cup tie versus Sweden next month. We are very excited to have yet another opportunity to play in front of a home crowd, especially at the Copper Box Arena where the fans were so instrumental in helping get us over the line when we last played there a few years ago. Anne Keothavong, Great Britain's Billie Jean King Cup team captain

Team GB last played a BJK Cup match at the Copper Box in 2019, when a team led by Johanna Konta and Katie Boulter defeated Kazakhstan in an emphatic 3-1 victory in front of 11,000 fans.

This year it will be World No 58 Katie Boulter who will lead the squad, made up by Jodie Burrage, ranked 93 in singles and 149 in doubles, Harriet Dart, the World No 138 and doubles No 156, Heather Watson, with a single ranking of 169 and 88 in doubles, and Maia Lumsden, the doubles World No 74.

Sweden, who are without their top two players, Rebecca Peterson and Mirjam Bjorklund, is represented by Kajsa Rinaldo Persson (World No 372), Caijsa Hennemann (532), Lisa Zaar (824), and Bella Bergkvist Larsson (1105).

Great Britain and Sweden are renewing their rivalry for the 7th time and the first time since 2012, with each nation having won on 3 previous occasions.


Anne Keothavong prior to the Billie Jean King Cup Play-Off match between Great Britain and Sweden at Copper Box Arena on Thursday

© Kate Green/Getty Images for LTA

“I’m delighted that all of our strongest ranked players have made themselves available for the Billie Jean King Cup tie versus Sweden next month,” said Team GB Captain Anne Keothavong. “We are very excited to have yet another opportunity to play in front of a home crowd, especially at the Copper Box Arena where the fans were so instrumental in helping get us over the line when we last played there a few years ago.

“Finally, being able to captain this team is always a huge privilege and to bring live tennis back to where I grew up, means a great deal to me on a personal level.”

Boulter returns to lead the charge, having enjoyed one of the best seasons of her career. Since competing in GB’s qualifying tie against France, the British No 1 has picked up her maiden WTA title at the Rothesay Open Nottingham and reached a career-high ranking of World No 50.

Burrage has been called up to represent the Brits for the first time in her career, following a standout year.

Like Boulter, Burrage has reached a career high ranking of 85 this year, and recently clinched her first WTA doubles title at the Transylvania Open alongside Jill Teichmann.

“Representing your country is one of the highest honours,” Burrage said.

Completing the British contingent are Dart and Watson, who have both sealed doubles titles recently at the W100 Shrewsbury and W40 Quinta do Lago respectively, while Lumsden just recently was announced as the final player of the team.

Having narrowly lost out in their qualifying tie against France back in April, Great Britain needs to defeat Sweden in its Play-Off tie for a place in the 2024 Billie Jean King Cup Qualifiers.

Fans can watch live coverage of the Great Britain versus Sweden tie on the BBC Sport website and via BBC iPlayer.

The Play-Offs will follow the same format as the Billie Jean King Cup Qualifiers, with each tie consisting of five rubbers.

Action on Day 1, Saturday 11 November, will get underway at 2pm, with two singles matches scheduled.

Day 2, Sunday 12 November starts at 12 Noon, with a possible three matches being played, two singles and one doubles.


(L-R) Maia Lumsden, Jodie Burrage, Anne Keothavong, Harriet Dart, Katie Boulter and Heather Watson of Great Britain attended the official dinner at The Stratford Hotel prior to the Billie Jean King Cup Play-Off tie between Great Britain and Sweden at Copper Box Arena this weekend

© Kate Green/Getty Images for LTA

It is a bumper week of 2023 Billie Jean King Cup by Gainbridge action, which continues with 8 Play-off ties in 8 cities around the world from Friday, with 16 teams competing for places in the BJK Cup Qualifiers next April, and, ultimately, a shot at lifting the famous trophy at the end of the 2024 season.

The 8 losing teams from the Play-offs will compete at their regional Group I events in April 2024.

Brazil’s Beatriz Haddad Maia and Ukraine’s Anhelina Kalinina are among those set to represent their nations, while other players include Camila Osorio (Colombia), Nadia Podoroska (Argentina) and Arantxa Rus (Netherlands).

National rivalries will be reignited as no two nations competing at the Play-offs are doing so for the first time.

The 8 Play-off ties take place on a home-and-away basis on either 10-11 or 11-12 November, with home nations having determined choice of dates.

2023 Billie Jean King Cup By Gainbridge Play-Offs

  • Slovakia (1) (c) v Argentina
  • Belgium (2) (c)* v Hungary
  • Great Britain (3) (c) v Sweden
  • Brazil (4) (c)* v Korea, Rep.
  • Ukraine (5) (c)* v Netherlands (see Note 1)
  • Serbia (c) v Romania (6)
  • Japan (7) (c)* v Colombia
  • Austria (c)* v Mexico (8)

(#) = seed; (c) = choice of ground; * = choice of ground decided by lot

Note 1: Due to the current situation in Ukraine, the ITF and Billie Jean King Cup Committee have worked with the Ukrainian Tennis Federation to confirm the hosting location as Vilnius, Lithuania.


A general view of the court prior to the Billie Jean King Cup Play-Off match between Great Britain and Sweden at Copper Box Arena this weekend

© Kate Green/Getty Images for LTA


Previous

Next

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Social Media Auto Publish Powered By : XYZScripts.com