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Billie Jean King Cup by Gainbridge

La Cartuja Stadium, Seville, Spain 13 - 20 November 2024

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Billie Jean King Cup 2023: Squad announced for Great Britain’s qualifier against France

• 4 MINUTE READ

Great Britain’s Billie Jean King Cup captain, Anne Keothavong, has submitted the list of five players who will take on France in the Billie Jean King Cup Finals Qualifiers from 14 – 15 April in Coventry.

Keothavong names an unchanged team for the upcoming qualifying tie.

Great Britain’s Billie Jean King Cup squad to face France:

The Brits will have to defeat France to qualify for the Billie Jean King Cup Finals – taking place later this year. The qualifying tie will be played as a best of five rubbers across two days at the Coventry Building Society Arena in Coventry.

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Explaining her selections, Keothavong said, I’m pleased to name the same team as the one we had four months ago in Glasgow where we gelled so well, and the team spirit was electric. There were some memorable performances across the week to help us reach the semi-finals. 

"Harriet showed us what she’s capable of by beating the likes of Badosa and Tomljanovic. We saw Alicia and Olivia make their Cup debut, where they brought so much energy to the court and demonstrated how important doubles is. Katie and Heather have a proven track record in this competition and are enthusiastic as ever to be part of this team. While Emma is unavailable for this tie we look forward to seeing her back on the team in the near future”.

Let’s meet the Brits who are set to take on France in April:

Harriet Dart

  • Age: 26
  • Ranking: 148
  • Billie Jean King Cup ties played: 7
  • Billie Jean King Cup record: 5-5                

Harriet Dart has been called up to represent Great Britain for an eighth time as she enters the qualifying tie against France as Britain’s highest-ranking singles player.

Dart clocked some of the biggest wins of her career so far at the Billie Jean King Cup Finals in Glasgow last year and was one of the standout stars of the event. After losing out to 2022 Wimbledon champion Elena Rybakina in Great Britain’s opening tie against Kazakhstan, Dart went on to seal back-to-back straight set victories over former world No.2 Paula Badosa and Australia’s Ajla Tomljanovic.

So far this year, Dart has represented Great Britain at the inaugural United Cup tournament in Australia before making her main draw debut at the Australian Open where she lost out to world No.34 Jil Teichmann.

Katie Boulter

2022-Katie-Boulter-BJK-Cup-vs-Kazakhstan.jpg

  • Age: 26
  • Ranking: 154
  • Billie Jean King Cup ties played: 9
  • Billie Jean King Cup record: 9-2

Katie Boulter has been selected to represent Great Britain for the 10th time in her career at this year’s qualifiers in Coventry.

Since making her debut in 2018, The 26-year-old has become a regular addition to the British team, boasting an excellent winning record that positions her as an important asset to the squad. Boulter recorded only her second loss for Great Britain at last year’s Finals after losing out 4-6, 6-3, 6-2 to Kazakhstan’s Yulia Putintseva.

Boulter had a fast start her 2023 season when she won her seventh ITF title at the W60 Canberra event, having sailed through to the final without dropping a set before defeating compatriot Jodie Burrage to lift the title.

Heather Watson

2022-Heather-Watson-BJK-Cup-vs-Spain.jpg

  • Age: 30
  • Ranking: 169
  • Billie Jean King Cup ties played: 35
  • Billie Jean King Cup record: 31-15

Heather Watson comes into the tie against France as Great Britain’s most experienced Billie Jean King Cup player, having played in 35 ties for her country. At last years’ Finals in Glasgow, Watson picked up her 31st match win for her Great Britain after dispatching Spain’s Nuria Parrizas-Diaz 6-0, 6-2 – a win that would see her equal Sue Barker in fifth place on the nation’s all-time list for match wins.

In 2023, Watson has reached the quarter-final of two events at the W60 Canberra, where she lost out to fellow Brit Katie Boulter, and the Thailand Open. In February, she reached her first final of the year at the W25 Glasgow event where she just missed out on the title in a tight three-set battle against Belgium’s Marie Benoit.

Watson will be hoping to carry her experience into Great Britain’s qualifying tie as she seeks to help lead her country to the Billie Jean King Cup Finals in November.

Alicia Barnett

2022-Alicia-Barnett-Olivia-Nicholls-BJK-Cup-vs-Spain.jpg

  • Age: 29
  • Ranking: 67 (Doubles)
  • Billie Jean King Cup ties played: 3
  • Billie Jean King Cup record: 2-1

Forming one half of Britain’s top doubles pairing, Alicia Barnett endured a dream debut at the Billie Jean King Cup Finals in Glasgow last year alongside partner Olivia Nicholls, with the duo once again being selected to represent their country against France.

Barnett and Nicholls had a year to remember in 2022, breaking into the WTA top 100 for the first time in their careers and winning three doubles titles together at the W60 Granby event, W100 Grodzisk Mazowiecki and W60 Bellinzona.  

The British duo have already tasted title success this year and will enter the tie in fine form having recently lifted the W60 Trvana trophy in March.

Olivia Nicholls

2022-Alicia-Barnet-Olivia-Nicholls-BJK-Cup.jpg

  • Age: 28
  • Ranking: 69 (Doubles)
  • Billie Jean King Cup ties played: 3
  • Billie Jean King Cup record: 2-1

Olivia Nicholls also joins doubles partner Barnett in the British team, as the duo look to replicate their success at last year’s Finals.

The all-British pairing made their debut against Kazakhstan where they earned Great Britain a vital point on the board with a 7-5, 6-3 victory over Rybakina and Anna Danilina. With a spot in the semi-finals at stake Nicholls and Barnett entered the final rubber against Spain with no option but to win, and that they did – clinching a triumphant victory over Aliona Bolsova and Rebeka Masarova 7-6(5), 6-2 to send Great Britain through to the Billie Jean King Cup Finals semi-final for the first time in 41 years and etch their name in the history books.

Can they replicate their success against France in the qualifiers?

Support Great Britain at the Billie Jean King Cup Qualifier in Coventry

Get your tickets and cheer on the Brits as they take on France at the Billie Jean King Cup qualifiers in Coventry between 14 - 15 April.

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