The LTA has confirmed the squad to represent Great Britain in the Fed Cup by BNP Paribas Qualifier against Slovakia in Bratislava on 7 and 8 February. This is the first time Great Britain has been a part of the elite World Group of the largest annual international team competition in women’s sport for 27 years.
Captained by Anne Keothavong, the GB Fed Cup squad (in WTA ranking order) is:
- Heather Watson
- Harriet Dart
- Naiktha Bains
- Katie Swan
- Emma Raducanu
Keothavong said: “I’m pleased to announce the team for the Fed Cup Qualifier against Slovakia. Naturally we are disappointed not to have Johanna Konta and Katie Boulter available for selection, but we have some very exciting young players in our squad who are ecstatic to be part of this team and I’m sure will rise to the big occasion. Every Fed Cup tie creates a unique pressure and intensity which I’m sure our players will thrive on and, even though we have a difficult challenge ahead against Slovakia, I have every confidence our squad will do themselves and their country proud. I’m looking forward to getting everyone together next week to start preparations.”
After Johanna Konta earlier announced she would not be taking part in Fed Cup this year to protect her body, Katie Boulter also confirmed she will not be travelling to Bratislava. The LTA’s medical staff continues to support her during her return to play and recognises that making the change to play on clay for Fed Cup at this time might present some risk of aggravating Katie’s previous injury, especially after so much time off last year. Keothavong said, “It goes without saying we will miss Katie after her heroic efforts in last year’s Fed Cup and hope to see her back with the team again soon.”
The winner of Great Britain and Slovakia will advance to be one of 12 nations playing in the all-new Fed Cup Finals in Budapest in April. As before, ties are best of five matches, four singles and a doubles match, with all matches being contested as best of three tie break sets. However in 2020 matches are played on Friday and Saturday. Seeds were decided by Fed Cup Nations ranking of 22 April 2019, and GB is currently ranked No.11 in the world from 106 nations.
Three of the team – Dart, Swan and Raducanu – are part of the LTA’s Pro Scholarship Programme (PSP), which provides world class coaching, medical and financial support to young professional players aged 16-24 with the potential to reach the top 100 within five years.
Bains is supported by the LTA’s Men’s and Women’s programme, which provides support to players aged 16-22 aiming to reach the PSP selection standard in the next two years.
Fed Cup player records
Heather Watson has been a part of 34 GB Fed Cup ties (sixth best all-time amongst British women) and 2020 marks her 10th year being part of the competition. Her win/loss ratio is 20-9 (only one win behind Anne Keothavong in second place) in singles and 8-3 in doubles.
Harriet Dart has been selected for her third GB Fed Cup team, and was the 52nd player to represent GB in Fed Cup since its inception in 1963.
Katie Swan made her Fed Cup debut in Israel in 2016 (aged 17, the youngest ever), posting a 2-1 singles win/loss ratio and 2-0 in doubles during that outing.
Emma Raducanu has been selected for the Fed Cup for the first time, having been a hitting partner with the team in Bath last year.
Naiktha Bains has been selected for the Fed Cup squad for the first time.
Play will start at 1500 GMT on both Friday 7 and Saturday 8 February. BBC Sport will be showing the tie live online and on the red button. Follow @the_LTA on Twitter and @LTA on Instagram for match action and exclusive behind the scenes content.