Re: Europe/Africa Zone 1 (2009)
No surprises from the Brits this year:
The team was announced on Friday for Great Britain’s Fed Cup by BNP Paribas matches in Tallinn, Estonia.
Named by Nigel Sears, the Great Britain Fed Cup team will be Anne Keothavong, Mel South, Elena Baltacha and Sarah Borwell.
Great Britain is competing in Europe/Africa Zone Group One, being played on indoor hard courts at Coral Tennis Club from 4th-7th February.
The format of the event sees the 15 competing nations initially split into four round-robin pools. The top teams in each pool will advance to promotion play-offs while the bottom teams will fight it out to avoid relegation.
Amongst the favourites will be Croatia and Austria, ranked 19th and 22nd respectively in the Fed Cup rankings. Romania also boasts three players inside the world’s top 100 while Belarus and Poland have two each.
For Great Britain, Anne Keothavong is currently at a career high world ranking of No 60 after a breakthrough year on the court. Among her highlights, the 25 year-old won four ITF titles and reached the US Open third round.
Meanwhile, Mel South is also at a career high world ranking of No 110 while Elena Baltacha is not far behind at No 134. Regarded as a doubles specialist, Sarah Borwell will add depth to the team for the often decisive doubles rubber.
“It’s been a great year for the girls at the top end of the British game,” said Sears, who will be captaining the GB team for the third year.
“I felt almost spoilt for choice in picking the team to travel to Estonia. With Anne Keothavong being ranked No 60 in the world and Mel South being right on the edge of the top 100, we are straight away in a stronger position than last year.
“I felt it was very important to include a doubles specialist in Sarah Borwell as the nature of the competition puts such a huge emphasis on what can so often be a crucial doubles rubber – we really missed that last year.
"Overall, I feel I have picked a team that gives us the best possible chance of succeeding in a very tough group.”
"My advice to anyone planning to watch my matches on live scoring is this: don't do it - it's not good for your health!"