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Billie Jean King Cup by Gainbridge

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

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Katie Boulter in training at the Billie Jean King Cup in France
GB Teams

Player form, surfaces & team selection: Three questions ahead of Great Britain vs France in the Billie Jean King Cup


Ahead of the Great Britain’s Billie Jean King Cup Qualifier against France from 12-13 April, we breakdown the three burning questions coming into this eagerly anticipated tie.

How much have these teams changed in the last 12 months?

A year ago, Great Britain and France faced each other in this exact same tie for a place in the 2023 Finals. Looking at rankings, the Brits came in as slight underdogs on paper but pushed the French team all the way across four close rubbers.

Fast-forward to this year and it’s a much different story.

Starting with British No.1 Katie Boulter, who has had the biggest rise of any player in this weekend’s tie. The 27-year-old has jumped 126 places in the WTA rankings to a career-high world No.28, having won her first tour-level titles at the Rothesay Open Nottingham and San Diego Open.

Boulter already had an impressive Billie Jean King Cup record, which she’s now extended to 11-3, and now with a season of playing the best players at the highest level, heads to France with more experience and plenty of confidence.

It’s a similar story with Harriet Dart, who has recently climbed back into the top 100 after career-best results to start the season. Heather Watson is also closing in on her best WTA doubles ranking (world No.46), which is currently at its highest point since 2019.

Let’s not forget Emma Raducanu as well, who was unavailable for the Brits last season due to injury. The 21-year-old was a star performer for the Lexus GB Billie Jean King Cup team the last time they played on clay against Czech Republic and is the only player with a Grand Slam singles title to their name.

Fran Jones has recently been named as the latest player to join the squad after an impressive week at the San Luis Open in Mexico, where she made the biggest final of her career.

The Unbreakable Spirit of the GB Team 🇬🇧 | Behind the Scenes - BJK Cup GB vs France 2023 | LTA

On the other side for France, their top-ranked player, Caroline Garcia, has slightly dropped in the rankings from world No.5 to No.23. Still a regular feature in the biggest events in the WTA calendar and recently shining at the Miami Open, the 30-year-old didn’t win a title last season and has had a mixed start to 2024 so far.

However, Clara Burel has come from outside the top 100 this time last year, to her highest ranking of world No.44 in April 2024. The 23-year-old made three finals last season and won the W60 Montpellier and Open Angers Arena Loire.

The new addition to the team is 21-year-old Diane Parry, who is also currently at her career-high of world No.51. Parry brings a clay court expertise to the tie, having reached three clay court finals last season and knocking out 25th seed Anhelina Kalinina in the first round at Roland Garros.

Despite many similar faces, how much will form and a couple of new squad additions play a role in the result this weekend?

Read our full tie preview

What will be the impact of playing on clay?


While last year’s tie took place on indoor hard court, this time around, the French team have elected for an indoor clay court.

Why is this significant? Well, on paper, this French side have a lot of positive experience on the clay. Garcia is a former singles quarter-finalist at Roland Garros and has also previously combined with teammate Kristina Mladenovic to win the French Open doubles title twice.

In addition to Parry’s three finals on clay last year, she has also won 136 of her 183 professional match wins on clay.

For the Brits, Dart is a former semi-finalist at the W100 Charleston on clay and last year reached a doubles final at the W60 Bodrum. Meanwhile, Raducanu has previously enjoyed success on the clay as well – making the quarter-finals at the WTA 500 Porsche Tennis Grand Prix and a third round spot at the Mutua Madrid Masters.

Raducanu and Boulter have recently been training together on the indoor clay at the National Tennis Centre in Roehampton and both highlighted how much they’ve enjoyed being back on the surface in recent interviews before heading out to France.

Great Britain’s secret weapon is Jones, who boasts an impressive record on clay. The 23-year-old has won all six of her pro-level titles on clay and recently made her first WTA 125 final on the dirt in Mexico, where she also reached the semi-final of the doubles.

How much will this home advantage on the clay pay off for France? We’ll have to wait and see…

Which team combination will Captain Anne Keothavong go with?


One advantage that Captain Anne Keothavong and the Lexus GB Billie Jean King Cup team have is flexibility.

This squad is packed with experience in the competition, strong form and a shared ability to play both singles and doubles.

While that creates a headache when it comes to selecting the team, it does give Keothavong the option to go in a multitude of directions when choosing which players will step out on court.

Boulter comes in as the highest ranked British player for the singles, followed by Dart, but could the captain be tempted to go with either former US Open champion Raducanu or the clay court specialist in Jones?

The doubles pairing will also be a big question. Dart and Watson have played together on multiple occasions and made the Rothesay Open Nottingham final last season, but every player in the team could be in contention should a deciding doubles rubber be required.

Unfortunately, we’re going to have to wait for game time to find out, but one thing’s for sure, the Brits aren’t short on strong options!

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