Fed Cup World Group II play-off: Get to know the Brits | Tennis in Britain

Fed Cup World Group II play-off: Get to know the Brits

19/04/2017

| Federation Cup

Aegon GB Fed Cup Team announcement

The Brits are bidding to return to the World Group II for the first time in 24 years when they take on Romania in this weekend's crucial play-off. Ahead of the crunch tie, take a moment to get to know the Aegon GB Fed Cup Team who will be going toe-to-toe with the hosts in the city of Constanta.

Laura Robson

Laura RobsonLaura’s love of the game came at the early age of six when she started to play at her local club while living in Singapore.

In 2008, Laura captured the hearts of the nation after becoming the junior girls’ champion at Wimbledon. Four years later she teamed up with Britain’s male No.1 Andy Murray to take the 2012 Olympic mixed doubles silver medal. A month later, she went on to reach a career-best fourth round at the US Open and made it to the same stage of the 2013 Wimbledon Championships.

Laura made her Fed Cup debut in 2012, partnering with Heather Watson to win the doubles in a zonal round-robin against Portugal. She is the only member of the team to have appeared in Great Britain’s two recent efforts to re-enter the World Group II, competing in the play-offs in 2012 against Sweden and in 2013 against Argentina. 

Key stats

Date of birth: 21/01/1994

Place of residence: London, England
Plays: Left-handed Current world ranking: 202
Fed Cup ties: 12 Fed Cup win/loss record:  12/3

Fun fact

Laura has a cat named Waffles.

Quiz question

1. Where was Laura’s first Fed Cup match played? 

Heather Watson

Heather WatsonHeather started playing when she was seven and committed to the sport by setting off to Florida to train at the Bollettieri Academy five years later.

In 2012 at the HP Open, Heather became the first British woman to win a WTA tournament in 24 years and now has six titles to her name – three in singles and three in doubles. She achieved a career-high singles ranking of No.38 in 2015 and showed exceptional doubles form at the 2016 Wimbledon Championships, becoming mixed doubles champion with Henri Kontinen of Finland.

Heather began her Fed Cup journey in 2011, playing in the Euro/Africa Zone Group I stage and has continued to represent Great Britain each year. Her latest performance in Estonia was flawless, sealing victories in all five of her matches and she was rewarded for her team spirit by receiving a Fed Cup Heart Award

Key stats

Date of birth: 19/05/1992

Place of residence: Guernsey, Great Britain and Florida, United States
Plays: Right-handed Current world ranking: 113
Fed Cup ties: 26 Fed Cup win/loss record:  25/7

Fun fact

A lover of all things fashion, Heather’s style icons are Serena Williams and Beyoncé.

Quiz question

2. Who did Heather defeat in her singles match of the recent Europe/Africa Zone Group I play-offs? 

Johanna Konta

Johanna KontaJohanna was introduced to tennis by her parents when she was eight and soon after began playing regularly at her after-school club.

She competed in her first WTA main draw match in 2011 and cracked the top 100 in 2014. Her breakthrough came in 2015 when she reached the fourth round of the US Open and finished the year as world No.47. She has since gone from strength to strength, storming to the semi-finals of the 2017 Australian Open and clinching three titles, including the 2017 Miami Open where she became the first British woman to hold the iconic trophy.

Johanna first graced the Fed Cup court in 2011 when she partnered Laura Robson in doubles for a Europe/Africa Group I zonal tie against Bosnia/Herzegovina. Since then she has become a familiar Fed Cup face and has taken part in the competition each following year (apart from 2016 due to illness).  

Key stats

Date of birth: 17/05/1991

Place of residence: Eastbourne, England
Plays: Right-handed Current world ranking: 7
Fed Cup ties: 14 Fed Cup win/loss record:  8/8

Fun fact

Johanna’s tennis icon growing up was 22-grand slam champion, Steffi Graf.

Quiz question

3. The upcoming tie will be Johanna’s second World Group II play-off appearance - which year did she play in her first?

Jocelyn Rae

Jocelyn RaeJocelyn first picked up a racked at the age of seven when she started to play with her parents. She went on to show plenty of promise as a junior and has represented Great Britain from the age of 12.

After a foot injury in 2013, Jocelyn decided to focus her efforts on the doubles court and began playing with fellow Brit, Anna Smith. The pair have reached two WTA finals and climbed the doubles rankings to a career high of No.67 in 2016.

Jocelyn’s first call up to the Fed Cup scene came in 2011 when she joined forces with Heather to defeat Switzerland in the Euro/Africa Group I round-robin stages. She has continued to play a key part in the team and has competed in at least two Fed Cup matches each year since 2014. 

Key stats

Date of birth: 20/02/1991

Place of residence: Nottingham, England
Plays: Right-handed Current world ranking (doubles): 106
Fed Cup ties: 12 Fed Cup win/loss record:  9/3

Fun fact

In 2010, Jocelyn teamed up with Britain’s Colin Fleming to become mixed doubles gold medallists at the Commonwealth Games in Delhi for Scotland.

Quiz question

4. In 2011 for her second ever Fed Cup match, Jocelyn and Heather defeated Mai Grage and the current world no.1 at the time. Can you name the player and team? 

Answer to quiz questions:

1. Laura’s first Fed Cup match was played in Israel (Europe/Africa Group I – 2012)

2. Heather defeated Croatia’s Donna Vekic in the 2017 Europe/Africa Zone Group I play-offs

3. Johanna’s first time playing in a World Group II play-off was in 2013 against Argentina   

4. Jocelyn and Heather defeated Mai Grage and world no.1 at the time, Caroline Wozniacki of Denmark

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