GB four matches from home tie
Originally published on 08/02/17 00:00
The British team, comprising world No.10 Johanna Konta, Heather Watson, Laura Robson and Jocelyn Rae, are one of 14 teams in Tallinn for the Euro/Africa Zone Group I competition, where Great Britain face Turkey, Latvia and Portugal in Pool C of the round robin phase.
The winner of Pool A will play the winner of Pool D, and the winner of Pool B will face the winner of Pool C in promotion play-offs on Saturday, with two nations progressing to the World Group II play-offs in April. With Konta, the highest ranked player in Tallinn, Great Britain are favourites to win their group and would likely face Croatia in Saturday's play-off. Croatian captain Iva Majoli has two talented players in Ana Konjuh and Donna Vekic at her disposal.
Britain reached the play-offs under the captaincy of Judy Murray in 2012 and 2013, but lost to Sweden and Argentina respectively. However, four victories this weekend would guarantee Keothavong’s team a Fed Cup tie on home soil for the first time since 1993.
"The format doesn't lend itself to anything – but it is what it is and we have to accept that," said Keothavong, who was announced as Murray's successor in November. "There's only eight teams in the Fed Cup World Group whereas the Davis Cup has 16 so, with the format, it will take us a few years to get there. But we can certainly put women's tennis on the map in this country."
“Preparations this week in Tallinn have been brilliant really, I couldn’t have asked for more from the girls," added Keothavong, who played 39 Fed Cup ties for Great Britain between 2001 and 2013. "They have been getting on with each other well and practising hard and I’d like to think we’re as well prepared as we possibly could have been."
— Johanna Konta (@JoKonta91) February 6, 2017