Judy Murray: Fed Cup can inspire

  • Last Updated: February 6 2013, 7:39 GMT

Judy Murray is hoping success for her Fed Cup side will encourage more females to take up tennis.

Murray: Wants women's tennis to grow

Britain is enjoying a resurgence on the women's side with Heather Watson and Laura Robson inside the top 50 in the world rankings.

And Murray believes a strong Fed Cup campaign, which gets under way in Israel this morning, will inspire more youngsters to pick up a racket.

"The Fed Cup is the big sister of the Davis Cup," she said. "We have a very exciting group of players, it is the perfect platform to push on and get more girls playing tennis.

"The Fed Cup, in terms of growing the profile of women's tennis and growing the profile of the incredible group of players we have at the moment, is absolutely vital."

Britain should come through their Israel assignment - they must top Pool B and then come through a clash with the winner of Pool D - to advance to a World Group II play-off in April.

Victory there would then ensure a tournament calendar similar to that the majority of countries enjoy in the men's equivalent, the Davis Cup.

And that is of paramount importance to Murray.

"I very much hope we can get into a situation where we can have home and away ties on a regular basis like the Davis Cup does," she said.

"Although the two events are both run by the International Tennis Federation they have a very different playing format.

"For most of the countries which compete in the Fed Cup, to play for your country as a team consists of three to four days a year in February.

"Using the Fed Cup as a platform to grow women's tennis we need to get in a situation where we have home and away ties."

Murray is in the enviable position of being able to choose from Britain's strongest squad for many years - with Robson and Watson backed up by Fed Cup veteran Anne Keothavong and debutante Johanna Konta.

The experienced Elena Baltacha has also travelled as she battles back from foot surgery.

Scot Murray said: "We are in a very strong position. We have three young players whose careers are on the way up, and the experience of Anne and Bally who have played so many Fed Cup ties. They are wonderful pros and great role models for the younger players to be around."

Britain meet Bosnia/Herzegovina today in their pool opener before clashes with Portugal and Hungary.

And it is the Friday meeting with the Hungarians which Murray believes could pose her side, who are favourites to advance, with the biggest threat.

She said: "On paper, the Hungary team looks like it might be the strongest in terms of the rankings.

"Portugal appear to be without (their number one) Maria Joao Koehler who is injured and we don't think she is here.

"Hungary have Timea Babos at one and Greta Arn at two so they look like they will be the strongest team in the group."

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