Great Britain hoping for Johanna Konta U-turn after losing Fed Cup qualifier to Slovakia
Great Britain won’t play in the inaugural Fed Cup Finals this year after they lost their qualifier against Slovakia and captain Anne Keothavong admits Johanna Konta’s absence was a big blow.
After a glorious run last year saw them reach the World Group for the first time since 1996, Great Britain needed to clear one final hurdle in Bratislava.
However, they went down 3-1 on Saturday as Harriet Dart’s defeat at the hands of Anna Karolina Schmiedlova handed Slovakia an unassailable 3-1 lead.
“You help make everything special for us!”
— LTA (@the_LTA) February 8, 2020
Heather Watson and Dart lost their opening singles rubbers on Friday, but the former gave Team GB hope of pulling off an incredible comeback as she beat Rebecca Sramkova 6-0, 7-5.
It wasn’t to be though as Dart lost 7-5, 6-3 against world No 199 Schmiedlova.
The win sent Slovakia into the new-look 12-nation Fed Cup Finals in Budapest, Hungary, in April while GB will have to come through a play-off in April if they want to feature in the 2021 edition.
Captain Keothavong, though, hoes to have British No 1 Konta back in action soon.
World No 14 Konta played a big role in the team’s surge last year, but opted to sit out the against Slovakia tie as she wants to reduce her workload.
“Without her this week, we certainly felt it, but it would have been tough even if she had made herself available,” Keothavong told BBC Sport.
Asked how she could persuade Konta to return, Keothavong replied: “Read the Art of Persuasion?! Naturally there will be another conversation with Jo to see if she can be persuaded, but like I’ve said before, once she makes up her mind on something she tends to stick to it.
“Maybe I’ll remind her about her heroic performances last year, and what she did on the back of those wins – maybe that might help her change her mind.”
British interest ends but Novak Djokovic back with a bang at Roland Garros
The story of the third day of action at Roland Garros.
Fernando Verdasco threatens legal action after missing out on French Open
The 36-year-old said he had previously tested positive for the virus, asymptomatically, in August.
‘There needs to be a bigger pool of support,’ says Heather Watson as she calls for more help for British players
All six British players lost in first round at French Open.
Novak Djokovic: ‘I’m ready physically, mentally, emotionally to go deep in the tournament’
Nole produced a composed display at Roland Garros.
Assessing the future of British tennis after French Open singles disappointment
Assessing the position of Britain’s leading players.
Heather Watson completes a sorry French Open first round for British hopefuls
Watson the sixth Briton to lose in the first round.
Teenager Clara Tauson describes French Open win over Jennifer Brady as ‘dream come true’
It’s an “insane feeling” says youngster Clara Tauson.
Andy Murray reveals provisional schedule until early 2021, saying ‘my plan is to for sure go to Australia’
Where will Andy Murray play next?
French Open day two: A marathon match, a cheeky underarm serve, camouflaging with the clay
A look back at day two of the French Open.
Lorenzo Giustino v Corentin Moutet stats: Six hours and five minutes and a total of 459 points won
Some stats from the Giustino v Corentin marathon.