Misc Tennis

Billie Jean King Cup play-offs 2030 Great Britain ‘can’t underestimate’ Sweden

Maia Lumsden, Jodie Burrage, Anne Keothavong, Harriet Dart, Katie Boulter and Heather Watson of Great Britain

Dart (third from right), Boulter (second from right) and Watson (right) have played a combined total of 56 ties in the Billie Jean King Cup, while Lumsden (left) and Burrage (second left) have received their first call-up
Venue: Copper Box Arena, London Dates: 11-12 November.
Coverage: Streaming and live text coverage across BBC Sport website, app and iPlayer

Captain Anne Keothavong says Great Britain cannot underestimate Sweden in the Billie Jean King Cup play-offs despite being the heavy favourites.

Britain are absent from the ongoing Finals in Seville following their 3-1 loss to France in April’s qualifiers.

They will face Sweden at London’s Copper Box Arena in a best-of-five series across Saturday and Sunday.

The winner will progress to next year’s qualifiers, while the loser will drop into lower tier regional events.

“I feel like it’s the first time in a long time we go into this tie as favourites, but this competition can mess with people’s heads and people deal with pressure in different ways, ” Keothavong told BBC Sport.

“This time next year, I’d love for us to be competing in the Finals again and I don’t see any reason why we can’t get there, but we have to take the steps required. We can’t be complacent.”

‘It’s no hardship to put on your team colours’

Keothavong has selected the four highest ranked British singles players – Katie Boulter, Jodie Burrage, Harriet Dart and Heather Watson – along with doubles number one Maia Lumsden.

Britain are ranked 14 places higher than the Swedish team, whose chances of of promotion to the top tier of the team event have been dented by injuries to their two highest-ranked players – world number 103 Rebecca Peterson and Mirjam Bjorklund, ranked 163rd.

Johanna Larsson’s side will be represented by four players who are all ranked outside the world’s top 350 – Kajsa Rinaldo Persson, Caijsa Hennemann, Lisa Zaar, and Bella Bergkvist Larsson.

Great Britain singles rankings - Katie Boulter (58), Jodie Burrage (93), Harriet Dart (138), Heather Watson (169), Maia Lumsden (759)
Lumsden is also Britain’s number one doubles player, ranked 74th in the world in doubles

Boulter became Emma Raducanu’s successor as British number one in May, with 2021 US Open champion Raducanu missing the majority of the season through injury.

Having claimed her first WTA Tour title at Nottingham in June and reaching the third round at both Wimbledon and the US Open, Boulter achieved a career-high ranking of 50 in September and Keothavong says she “thrives” as British number one.

Burrage, too, has enjoyed a career-best season and would have enjoyed a spell as British number one had she…

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