Konta picked to open Fed Cup tie

  • By: Andy Schooler
  • Last Updated: April 19 2013, 17:24 BST

Johanna Konta has been picked to play singles for Great Britain in their Fed Cup play-off with Argentina this weekend.

Johanna Konta: Chosen to play singles on Saturday
Johanna Konta: Chosen to play singles on Saturday

In the absence of Heather Watson, who is recovering from glandular fever, world number 38 Laura Robson was always going to picked by captain Judy Murray.

However, her choice of her second singles player was also going to be a tough one.

In the end she opted for 22-year-old Konta, the British number three, ahead of the more experienced Anne Keothavong, who recently won an ITF tournament in France, and Elena Baltacha, who has only just returned to action after eight months out with a foot injury.

Sydney-born Konta, who has given a British passport last summer, will open the claycourt tie at 1400 BST on Saturday against Argentina's number one Paula Ormaechea - a player 21 places higher in the WTA rankings at 143rd.

It will be Konta's first Fed Cup singles tie. She made her GB debut during the Euro/Africa Group I matches in Israel in February, helping the team progress to the play-off stage, but only played in two doubles rubbers.

Robson v Florencia Molinero, world number 224, will follow at Buenos Aires' Parque Roca arena.

Robson and Keothavong have been nominated for Sunday's potentially crucial doubles which follows the reverse singles matches.

Argentina have chosen Maria Irigoyen and Mailen Auroux for the doubles, although changes can still be made.

Speaking prior to the draw, Murray said: "We are delighted to be here in Argentina and obviously we hope we win the tie.

"The Argentines have the advantage of playing at home and on clay which would be their preferred surface, so for us that's a challenge.

"We have a very strong team, we have strength and depth I hope that it will be a good match as I hope that we will come out on top."

GB need to win the play-off to be promoted to World Group II, the second tier of the competition, in 2014. Defeat will see them return to Europe/Africa Group I.

Murray and co reached this play-off stage 12 months ago only to lose to Sweden.

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