Katie Boulter has been rewarded for her rise in the rankings by being named in Britain’s latest Fed Cup team.
The 21 year-old, who has climbed inside the world’s top 200, will line up alongside Johanna Konta, Heather Watson and doubles specialist Anna Smith, as Britain look to leave the notoriously difficult Europe/Africa Zone Group 1.
Captain Anne Keothavong has left out Laura Robson, who has struggled for form, as well as the recently retired Jocelyn Rae. Naomi Broady is, once again, a notable absentee from the squad.
Anne Keothavong told the British Tennis website: “We are as determined as ever to begin our 2018 GB Fed Cup Campaign. I am delighted to nominate our strongest possible team.
“The format as usual is brutal but Talinn was very good to us last year where who can forget the drama of Jo and Heather winning the deciding doubles from 3-all in the third?
“We have a nice mixture of experience in Jo, Heather and Anna, plus youth with Katie Boulter making her Fed Cup debut. We can’t wait to get started!”
Who could Britain face?
Keothavong’s team will be top seeds in the Europe/Africa Zone Group 1 but face stiff competition if they are to get through to the World Group II playoffs.
In Pot 2, they will face one of Hungary, Turkey, Georgia or Estonia, while in Pot 3, Britain could be drawn against Austria, Latvia, Bulgaria, Portugal, Sweden or Slovenia. Should Britain finish top of their group, they will then face one of the other three group winners, which could include Poland, Serbia and or Croatia.
Britain’s worst case scenario would surely be a group consisting of Estonia (Anett Kontaveit and Kaia Kanepi) and Latvia (Jelena Ostapenko and Anastasija Sevastova).
The draw will be made on Monday 15 January, with the ties to take place between 7-10 February in Estonia. You can find a full list of players that will be involved over the four days here.