Tuesday, October 15, 2019
Tennis

GB browse tear up old script in Fed Cup as tennis heads to new venue

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When Anne Keothavong was being raised in east London it turned out, often, all anyone could caused by discover a serviceable tennis court. The facilities at her regular haunt, Hackney Downs, were often beset by moss and the chance of slipping over; park wardens were constantly around the prowl there was certainly no thought el born area would one day host a meeting that can have a very dramatic effect on the sport’s presence in this particular country.

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Even less did Keothavong visualize that she had, essentially, be driving it. Could captain Great Britain’s women within their Fed Cup World Group II play-off against Kazakhstan a few days ago; a win would put them back on the list of world’s top 16 teams in my ballet shoes since 1993 and that is not the only novelty being offered. The tie happens along at the Copper Box Arena, more well known as being a distinctive multipart venue at London 2012, on Saturday and Sunday; it has never hosted tennis before and nor, at any significant level, has this part of the capital.

“The proven fact that we will bring a big tennis event to this particular a part of London means the world for me,” Keothavong says. “We’re endeavoring to open our sport to a new audience; it’s not, I assume, one place of London that you simply closely associate with tennis but we’re here to modify that.”

Something else she means to change is wonderful Britain’s unfortunate record at this point. This past year they lost in Japan plus 2019 they had been beaten by Romania inside of a tie overshadowed by Ilie Nastase’s appalling behaviour towards Keothavong and Johanna Konta. Two previous attempts at promotion fell short too and, to all five of those ties, Great Britain was enthusiastic about play abroad.

“Having your house tie during this period inside the competition, when we have been away so often, will be special,” Keothavong says. “When we walked throughout the door and saw the judge the first time clearly there was a genuine ‘wow’ moment with the players. It’s going to be an interesting weekend and it also provides players much more motivation to accomplish well out there.”

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The team of Konta, Katie Boulter, Heather Watson, Harriet Dart and Katie Swan is as strong a lineup as Keothavong can come up with. They earned the tie by beating Slovenia, Greece, Hungary and Serbia in the intensive four days in Bath 60 days ago; Kazakhstan are usually not, written down, as fearsome a prospect like a Naomi Osaka-led Japan although Keothavong describes it a “50-50 match” and suggests their biggest threat, the 38th-ranked Yulia Putintseva, beat Konta on the French Open last year.

If everything travels to plan after that crowd of about 6,000, many of whom could have been motivated to sample competitive tennis in my ballet shoes with ticket prices under

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