Emma Raducanu set to become an LTA Colour Holder – what does it mean?

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Emma Raducanu

Emma Raducnau will join a very exclusive group of players if she makes her debut for Great Britain in this week’s Billie Jean King Cup tie against the Czech Republic.

World No.12 Raducanu looks certain to play the singles in Prague and that appearance will see her join the ranks of the LTA Colour Holders.

What does that mean? Well, representing your country in any sport is a special achievement, and tennis is no different.

As well as being a highlight of a player’s career, Great Britain teams also connect with, enthuse and excite tennis fans in Britain like nothing else in our sport. That is why the LTA have revived what was once a tennis tradition – the LTA Colour Holders programme.

Historically, in the same way a player might receive a ‘cap’ in football or rugby, when a player represented Great Britain in tennis, they received a Colour.

Now US Open champion Raducanu has been selected to lead the GB team in Prague, with Katie Swan (Colour Holder 301), Harriet Dart (Colour Holder 309) and Sonay Kartal also in Anne Keothavong’s (Colour Holder 240) line-up.

Now Raducanu is set to become the 317th player to join this elite band, with Kartal also in the mix to become a Colour Holder if she plays in Prague.

Emma will join a list started by John Boland, who became the first at the inaugural modern Olympic Games in Athens.

Meanwhile, new world No 1 doubles player Joe Salisbury, Greg Slade and Abbie Breakwell are among the most recent players to achieve this status having been selected to play in the Olympics and World Team Cup competitions respectively last year.

Now Raducanu is set to add another fine achievement to her record, with Great Britain captain Keothavong excited to work with the teenager.

“We are looking forward to the challenge of playing the Czechs,” she said. “Emma will be making her singles debut. Harriet and Katie have been an integral part of the team the last couple of years, while I’m excited to give Sonay that experience for the first time.

“Every tie creates a unique pressure and intensity, which I’m sure our players will thrive on, and, even though we have a difficult challenge ahead against the Czechs, I have every confidence our squad will do themselves and their country proud.”

A big contingent of British media are in Prague to cover the tie, with their interest in the Bille Jean King Cup fuelled by the presence of Raducanu in the team.

Now we will get a chance to see how she performs on clay, with this tie the start of her experience on a surface she has yet to be tested on in the professional ranks.

“It would be very motivating to add to my wins against the best players in the world, especially on clay where I have little experience as there aren’t really any clay courts in the UK,” said Raducanu.

“This clay season with the French Open as the highlight will be an interesting challenge, but one I am looking forward to.

“I think new challenges will always present themselves and you’ll always be resetting goals.Personally I’m very focused on the improvements I can make in my game and that motivates me a lot.”

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