20 - 21 April 2019

Fed Cup by BNP Paribas

Copper Box Arena, London

Fed Cup preview: Brits battle in Bath in first home tie for over a quarter of a century

  • 30/01/2019

  • Major Events

In one week’s time, Great Britain’s Fed Cup team will return to action as they bid to reach the World Group II Play-Off and return to the elite World Group for the first time since 1993. 

That same year was the last time the Brits last played a Fed Cup event on home soil. 26 years later, the team will have home advantage on their side with the University of Bath playing host to the Europe/Africa Group I competition.

Led by Captain Anne Keothavong, the team will soon set off to Somerset to prepare for the zonal event, which will take place from Wednesday 6 to Saturday 9 February.

Who’s playing?

Johanna Konta, Katie Boulter, Heather Watson, Harriet Dart and Katie Swan will represent Great Britain following selection at the beginning of the year.

Take a moment to get to know the team, from players' Fed Cup stats to recent career milestones.

Great Britain will be one of eight nations competing in Bath along with Slovenia, Greece, Hungary, Serbia, Georgia, Croatia and Turkey.

Ranked at the world No.39, British No.1 Johanna Konta will be the third highest-ranked player, just nine spots below Croatia’s world No.30 Donna Vekic and two spots below Greece’s world No.37 Maria Sakkari. 2018 Australian Open women’s doubles champion Timea Babos will also pose a threat on behalf of Hungary. 

How will it work?

Great Britain has been placed in Group A alongside Slovenia, Greece and Hungary, whilst Serbia, Georgia, Croatia and Turkey have been named for Group B.

Nations will play three round-robin ties of two singles matches and a doubles rubber, Wednesday to Friday. Great Britain must finish top of their group in order to secure a place in Saturday's play-off, where they would face the winner of Group B. The winner would earn a spot in the World Group II Play-Off, taking place 20 – 21 April 2019.  

Bath is co-hosting the Europe/Africa Group I competition with Poland, who is set to welcome the remaining seven countries from the group; Russia, Ukraine, Poland, Estonia, Bulgaria, Denmark and Sweden. The format will work exactly the same as in Bath, which means the winner from Saturday’s play-off will also go on to reach April’s World Group II Play-Offs.

The two winning nations from Europe/Africa Group I will be drawn against the winners of the two remaining Zone Group I events - Americas and Asia/Oceania - as well as the four first round losers from World Group II. 

What happened last year?

Great Britain kickstarted their 2018 campaign with triumph in the Estonian capital of Tallinn. The team of Johanna Konta, Heather Watson, Katie Boulter and Anna Smith sailed through to the Europe/Africa Group I play-off after easing past both Portugal and Estonia 3-0 in the round-robin stage of the tournament.

The achievement was by no means an easy feat and included a hard-fought victory on the Friday as Johanna Konta battled past Estonia’s world No.27 at the time Annett Kontaveit 6-7(5), 6-4, 6-2. The team went on to face Hungary in Saturday’s play-off and maintained their winning form to reach April’s World Group II Play-Off for a second consecutive year.

Drawn against Japan, a reformed team of Johanna Konta, Heather Watson, Gabriella Taylor and Anna Smith, travelled to Miki City. Despite Konta’s straight sets victory over now two-time Grand Slam champion Naomi Osaka, the team narrowly fell 3-2 (winning two of the singles matches but falling in the remaining singles and doubles rubbers).   

Fun facts

  • Coined the ‘World Cup of tennis’, the Fed Cup is the largest annual international team competition in women’s sport
  • Fed Cup captain Anne Keothavong is a former British No.1 and world Top 50 player. She made her team debut in 2001 and went on to play up until 2013
  • Great Britain’s last home tie was in May 1993 at Nottingham Tennis Centre. The team of Clare Wood, Monique Javer, Amanda Grunfeld and Julie Salmon defeated Luxembourg (3-0), Lithuania (3-0), Russia (3-0), Ukraine (3-0) and Turkey (3-0) to advance to the World Group
  • Great Britain have qualified for the World Group II Play-Off four times in 2012, 2013, 2017 and 2018
  • If they win in Bath and then triumph at the World Group II Play-Off, they would return to the World Group for the first time since 1993

Venue guide: The University of Bath Sports Training Village

  • Where? Bath
  • Capacity? 2,000
  • Built? 1997
  • Surface? Indoor hard court
  • First held a tie? The upcoming competition marks its first Fed Cup event

Back the Brits!

For the latest news about Great Britain's Fed Cup team, keep an eye out on TwitterFacebook and Instagram.

Great Britain's matches will be streamed live on the British Tennis Facebook page and exclusively live on BT Sport 2. All of their matches will take place in the afternoon sessions (not before 16:30). Check out the full event schedule.   

Clare Balding will host the live coverage and will be joined for commentary and analysis by current British player Laura Robson, former British No.1s Sam Smith and Jo Durie.

The afternoon sessions featuring Great Britain are already sold out, however there are still a limited amount of tickets available for the morning sessions (starting from 10:00). Tickets can be purchased online.