How did they get in?
By virtue of the fact that Great Britain will be hosting the 2022 Billie Jean King Cup by Gainbridge Finals, they will be able to enter the competition through their own backyard. There aren’t many people who would begrudge a good British team their spot in Glasgow, especially considering that they came so close to earning a straight berth in the women’s world cup of tennis before losing to the Czech Republic, who had won the tournament 11 times in a row.
At the Qualifiers held in Prague in April, the courageous squad captained by Anne Keothavong gave the Czechs a run for their money. A victory apiece for Emma Raducanu and Harriet Dart cancelled out two singles triumphs for Marketa Vondrousova and forced a final doubles match, which Karolina Muchova and Marketa Vondrousova won by defeating Harriet Dart and Katie Swan. Muchova and Vondrousova were named the star of the tie.
What is their track record in the competition?
Despite the fact that the Queen’s Club in London was the site of the tournament’s first iteration 59 years ago and that the United Kingdom made it to the finals of what was then known as the Federation Cup in 1967, 1970, 1972, and 1981, the British women’s tennis team has never been victorious in the Women’s World Cup.
Before finally holding a regional Group I tournament on British turf in Bath in 2019, Great Britain spent almost 25 years without even competing in a tie on home territory. They were victorious in this competition, which took place in 2019.
They have only lost two of their eight matches over the last four years, and both of those losses came in the qualifying rounds for the finals of the competition, which they played against Slovakia in 2020 and the Czechs in April. They have won six of their eight matches over the past four years.
Player to keep an eye on
Emma Raducanu has not recovered from the wrist injury that forced her to call an early stop to her injury-plagued 2022 season. As a result, she will not be a part of Team GB’s attempt to win the championship in Glasgow, which is unfortunate for the hosts.
Katie Swan or Jodie Burrage will also be hoping to make their mark if Keothavong gives either of them the nod when she names her final squad member in the coming weeks. British hopes could be carried by any one of Dart, Katie Boulter (who has a 9-1 record for her country), or Heather Watson. Katie Boulter has a 9-1 record for her country.
For the first time since 1981, the British women’s tennis team has a chance to go to the quarterfinals of the Women’s World Cup of Tennis if they are able to win their group (and advance at the cost of Spain and Kazakhstan). They will need to prevail over two teams that include tough core personalities, including the fourth-ranked player in the world, Paula Badosa, and the defending Wimbledon winner, Elena Rybakina.
At the Finals of the Billie Jean King Cup, Heather Watson has a chance to create history by moving into the top five all-time for Great Britain in terms of most victories. If she were to win just one more match, she would tie Sue Barker with 31 victories (singles and doubles). For the home team, the only players with more victories are Virgina Wade (66), Clare Wood (34), Jo Durie (34), and Elena Baltacha (33).
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