We can put GB women's tennis on map – Fed Cup captain Keothavong


Anne Keothavong has Laura Robson, Johanna Konta and Heather Watson available

Great Britain’s Fed Cup captain Anne Keothavong says they can emulate the men’s Davis Cup team and “put women’s tennis on the map in this country”.

They begin their campaign in Estonia on Wednesday in the Europe/Africa Zone.

Johanna Konta, the first British woman to reach the world’s top 10 in 32 years, Heather Watson and Laura Robson are all available for the first time.

“Hopefully Jo’s success and the way she goes about it will inspire the other girls,” said Keothavong, 33.

British number one Konta, 25, reached the quarter-finals of the Australian Open before a nine-match winning streak – which included victory at the Sydney International – was ended by Serena Williams.

“They can definitely learn a lot from her,” added Keothavong. “For the first time ever we’ve got a top-10 player so that in itself gives the team a different feel.

“We all know what she’s capable of, but Laura and Heather have also had big wins and they’re still very young.”

World number one Andy Murray inspired Great Britain to Davis Cup victory in 2015 – but his mother, Judy Murray, quit as Fed Cup captain last year frustrated at the competition’s format and Britain’s failure to progress.

Keothavong’s side will play a round-robin in Tallinn and need to win three or four matches to earn the chance of a play-off spot in World Group II, the Fed Cup’s second tier.

“The format doesn’t lend itself to anything – but it is what it is and we have to accept that,” added Keothavong, who played in 39 ties for Great Britain.

“There’s only eight teams in the Fed Cup World Group whereas 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.”

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