Fed Cup: Konta and Keothavong cautious Putintseva getting under their skin
Anne Keothavong’s Fed Cup warriors, buttressed by way of the proven pedigree of Johanna Konta additionally, the slow-burning potential of Katie Boulter, take presctiption the verge of returning Uk into the elite standard of the sport’s international team competition somebody in charge of in 26 years.
Standing into their way, however, is amongst the most volatile players in tennis, Yulia Putintseva, an adopted daughter of Kazakhstan without a competitor to visit lightly.
If The united kindom beat Kazakhstan within the five-match tie with the Copper Box at London’s 2012 Olympic Park on Few days, they may earn the place within the new streamlined finals format – which might be introduced like a 12-nation event the coming year.
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There is a wonderful chance the ITF bring together the Fed Cup plus the men’s Davis Cup (also revamped inside a World Cup-style final this November) for an annual end-of-year jamboree of team tennis, but that is far from Keothavong’s the thing it Friday.
The former Cup stalwart – who won 22 matches in 39 ties over 12 years – will never be distracted by the back-room rumblings. She said within the draw to your World Group II play-offs: “To be honest, that’s inside ITF’s hands. I’ve not thought much regarding this. After that may be be. Hopefully we’ll emerge from it that has a win and everything will take care of itself.”
I was merely 14 at that time and then she refused to shake my hand, wasn’t great to my opinion and said I used to be too loud
Konta, once fourth on the planet and rebuilding coming from a ranking of 46, starts the tie contrary to the world No 107, Zarina Diyas, within the opening singles on Saturday, as well as Boulter against Putintseva, who is ranked 48 places above her at 38 in the world. The key match is definitely the reverse singles on Sunday between Konta and Putintseva, who may have a good amount of history.
Konta needed no reminding of her two encounters with Putintseva: a win for the clay of Rome 24 months agoand a troublesome straight-sets defeat from the first round in the French Open in 2009.
“She’s a very feisty competitor, plays any point for the last,” Konta said. “But it is a different almost tournament, different emotions. Every match the other day is a tough battle. Nothing is guaranteed, over couple of days [after the team’s marathon triumph in Bath in February, as soon as they beat Slovenia, Greece, Hungary and Serbia over four days].”
Putintseva was 93 inside the rankings when she inflicted Konta’s fourth consecutive first-round Roland Garros defeat to be with her, there is baggage being handled.
“Jo is a tough player on hard courts however i will do my favorite,” Putintseva said.
Keothavong stoked the fireplace when she observed: “We know what she’s like. Even so the players are professional. You recognize what’s coming but it is crucial that they keep in their own little bubble and also rise to her bait. That’s what’s got her to where jane is. She’s got tremendous character, a massive personality available at basketball.
“But we have got fantastic competitors inside team who will be competent at going through her. I played against her years ago, didn’t go quite as well in my situation. The players should be able to handle anything that comes their way.”
Putintseva, all smiles, recalled her early-career wow Keothavong and brushed away suggestions the heat from that long-ago encounter would concern her recently. “I was only 14 during the time and she refused to shake me, wasn’t very nice in my experience, said I’m too loud,” she said. “But why would that bother me, her sitting beside the court? Jane is eligible for wallow in it. She’s the captain. I certainly will not thinking of her at my match.”
Keothavong, who were raised in Hackney, is revelling in back in her roots. “In some tips we’re entering the unknown,” she said. “Having the chance play in front of a home crowd is just what most of us wanted. Also we have been able to perform stuff with Hackney kids, and that is special to me. These include moments that assist inspire, not only the children but the players likewise, to possess new experiences. Ultimately you want the tennis but also the other things around it.”
There is a fairly glow concerning the team, rated 15 on the globe, four prior to Kazakhstan and favoured to prevail – especially after their rousing form in Bath, where Konta conquered exhaustion from the deciding match against Serbia and Boulter showed hitherto unknown reserves of tenacity. “All I can do is defined the most effective tennis on the market to see what will happen,” Boulter said. “I’ll definitely use the tub experience.”
The hub of the squad is Konta, who may have won nine successively within the competition since her emotional defeat by Simona Halep when The united kindom lost to Romania on earth Group II play-offs two years ago.
The doubles on Sunday bring together Harriet Dart and Heather Watson against Anna Danilina and Galina Voskoboeva, who rarely plays singles and is also ranked 58 on earth in doubles.