British tennis queen receives an award in New Year honours list

Johanna Konta and Anne Keothavong Fed Cup

Great Britain’s Billie Jean King Cup tennis captain Anne Keothavong has received an MBE for services to her sport in the Queen’s New Year’s honours list.

The former British No.1 has emerged as a respected coach and tennis analyst since her retirement from the game in 2013.

Keothavong reacted to her honour with this message on Twitter:

Keothavong will lead the British team in the Billie Jean King Cup play-off against Mexico in February after ina reversal of the original draw.

The tie in what was formerly known as the Fed Cup had been due to be played in Mexico in April but was postponed because of the coronavirus pandemic.

The International Tennis Federation announced last month that the host country has been switched because Mexico had not managed to make sufficient progress in organising the rearranged clash on February 5-6.

An ITF statement read: “The Billie Jean King Cup committee voted in favour of reversing the choice of ground due to delays to the organisation of the tie resulting from the ongoing presidential election process within the Federacion Mexicana de Tenis.

“With additional operational challenges presented by the Covid-19 pandemic, the committee has taken this decision to ensure that the organisers have sufficient time to successfully deliver a safe and secure tie.”

The decision is certainly a boost to Anne Keothavong’s team, who would have faced a tricky tie on clay but will be strong favourites on an indoor hard court.

The winners will secure a place in the qualifying round for the 12-team finals event in 2022.

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