Reuters

Johanna Konta leads GB Fed Cup team for Romania play-off

Johanna Konta leads GB team for Romania play-off

12/04/2017 at 11:19Updated 12/04/2017 at 12:26

World number seven Johanna Konta will headline the Great Britain team for the Fed Cup World Group II play-off with Romania as they seek to return to world level competition for the first time since 1993.

Konta heads to Constanta’s clay courts after securing the biggest title of her career at the Miami Open.

The 25-year-old is joined by Heather Watson, Laura Robson and doubles specialist Jocelyn Rae for the April 22-23 tie, with GB considered heavy underdogs.

Watson has had a difficult season and is ranked down at 110 but has an excellent record in the Fed Cup, having won 25 rubbers in singles and doubles and lost only seven.

The 24-year-old was unbeaten as Britain booked their place in the play-offs for the third time in six years by coming through the notoriously difficult Europe/Africa Zone Group in February.

After falling at the final hurdle under Judy Murray in 2012 and 2013, it would be a big feather in Anne Keothavong's cap if she could guide Britain to victory in her first year as captain.

Video - Jo Konta: On top of the tennis world!

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"Fed Cup is a unique privilege to wear your nation’s colours and it’s something I know all of our team takes great pride in," said Keothavong.

"This is the first time in four years we are in this position and I know everyone is excited by the opportunity. Romania has a first-class team and will have home advantage on their best surface. We are very much the underdogs.

"That being said, we have an excellent team spirit with lots of combined Fed Cup experience, added to the fact that women’s tennis has not had a higher profile in the UK in nearly 40 years.

"Heather and Laura have both been ranked inside the world’s Top 40 and 30 respectively, Johanna is playing the best tennis of her career right now with only six women on the planet ranked better than her and we have a solid doubles player in Joss Rae."

World number five Simona Halep will likely lead Romania’s charge, with Irina-Camelia Begu and Monica Niculescu also ranked inside the top 50.

With additional reporting from PA Sport

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