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London | Team GB ready for the Copper Box

London | Team GB ready for the Copper Box

Great Britain face Kazakhstan at the Copper Box Arena in Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park from 20-21 April. The squad selected to represent the nation in the Fed Cup by BNP Paribas World Group II Play-Off consists of Johanna Konta, Katie Boulter, Heather Watson, Harriet Dart and Katie Swan, led by GB Fed Cup Captain Anne Keothavong.

There is little to separate the two teams in terms of rankings but I’m confident the home fans will give all our players an inspirational lift just like we had in Bath earlier in February Anne Keothavong

“I’m delighted to name our strongest possible team to represent Great Britain at Copper Box Arena,” said Keothavong of her team selection.

“It promises to be a memorable occasion as we aim to reach the world group level for the first time since 1993, staged against the iconic backdrop of Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in East London, a place that has special significance for me.

“There is little to separate the two teams in terms of rankings but I’m confident the home fans will give all our players an inspirational lift just like we had in Bath earlier in February.

“It’s also very important to our team to open up our sport to new fans and increase awareness of tennis at different times of the year.”

Yulia Putintseva says she will do whatever she can to help her country beat Britain in what is the third time that Kazakhstan will be competing in the play-offs, but they have never reached the World Group II.

Speaking to the ITF website, Putintseva commented: “I’m very excited. It’s the third time that we’ve qualified for the play-offs, but with me, it’s only the second time so I’m very excited.

“I’m going to practice, I’m going to work on tactics, I’m going to do everything possible to try and bring some points to my team.

“We are all together, the Kazakhstan team is one big strand and we’re very friendly with each other.

“We have great girls in the team like Zarina [Diyas] and Galina [Voskoboeva]. All the girls are great.

“They’re ready to fight and very motivated to go to World Group II”.

Speaking about the Brits, Putintseva said: “They are tough, of course. They have very good quality players, like Johanna Konta, Heather Watson and the new youngster, Katie Boulter.

“They’re really tough but we’re expecting some good matches and good fights. A Fed Cup atmosphere is amazing.

“Nobody ever cheers like they do in Fed Cup – it’s so crazy. It makes your heart rate go up, especially when you’re sitting courtside and cheering for a player in your team.

“It’s so unbelievable. You never usually do this in a tournament. It’s something new and fun.

“The players get behind you and that’s great. We have good fans coming to Fed Cup every time we play so I think we will have some great support. They love tennis, they love Fed Cup and they will come for sure”.

Play starts at the Copper Box on Saturday, 20 April at 1:30pm and the following day at 12 noon.

BT Sport, the official broadcast partner in the UK, will provide comprehensive live coverage of the tie each day.

As an additional bonus for tennis fans, all matches will be streamed live on the LTA’s Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/thelta1.

As part of the LTA’s strategy to make tennis more accessible, ticket prices start from £6 for children under 16 and £12 for adults.

To purchase tickets or to access more information about the Fed Cup team, head to www.lta.org.uk/FedCup.

About The Author

Barbara Wancke

Barbara Wancke is a Tennis Threads Tennis Correspondent who has been involved in the sport for over 40 years, not only as a former player, umpire and coach but primarily as an administrator and tennis writer contributing over the years to Lawn Tennis, Tennis World, and Tennis Today. She has worked with the Dunlop Sports Co, IMG and at the ITF as Director of Women’s Tennis, responsible, amongst other things, for the running of the Federation Cup (now Fed Cup), and acting as Technical Director for tennis at the Seoul Olympics (1988). She subsequently set up her own tennis consultancy Tennis Interlink and was elected to the Board of the TIA UK where she became the Executive Administrator and Executive Vice President until she stood down in July 2014 and is currently an Honorary Vice President.

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