Watson, Moore in GB Fed Cup team

  • By: Andy Schooler
  • Last Updated: January 6 2014, 17:01 GMT

Heather Watson is back in Great Britain's Fed Cup team and Tara Moore is in line for her debut next month.

Tara Moore: In line for Fed Cup debut
Tara Moore: In line for Fed Cup debut

Both players have been named in captain Judy Murray's line-up for the Europe/Africa Zone I matches in Budapest, to be played from February 4-9.

They join Laura Robson and Johanna Konta in the team.

Both Robson and Konta played in GB's last tie - a World Group II play-off defeat in Argentina last April.

However, the other two members of that side - Elena Baltacha and Anne Keothavong - have since retired so Murray needed new blood.

Watson, who missed that Argentina clash due to illness, returns, while British number four Moore is included for the first time.

Robson, however, could be a doubt. She is currently nursing a wrist injury which she aggravated while playing in Hobart on Monday.

Murray will be allowed to make a change to the team if Robson is ruled out.

GB will hope to make it third time lucky in what it basically the third tier of the global team competiton.

In each of the last two years they have progressed from the Zone I matches only to fall in the World Group II play-offs.

Murray said: "I have named a very young and promising team. All are 21 or under and that bodes well for the future.

"The Euro/Africa Zone is notoriously tough to get out of but we have managed to reach the World Group II play-offs for the last two consecutive years.

"Our aim in 2014 is to win through to the World Group II which would give us a number of home and away ties and that would really help us to promote women's tennis through this fun team competition."

This year sees a switch in venue for the Europe/Africa Zone I clashes.

Eilat in Israel was the venue for GB's previous successes but the event has now moved from an outdoor venue to an indoor one in Hungary.

GB will need to win their group and then a play-off against one of the other group winners in Budapest to return to the World Group II play-offs which will be played in April.

As the second-highest ranked side, Britain will be among the top seeds for next Monday's draw.

The other nations who will compete in Budapest are Austria, Belarus, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Hungary, Israel, Latvia, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Portugal, Romania, Slovenia, Tunisia, Turkey and Ukraine.

Murray's "notoriously tough" comment is underlined by the fact that world number two Victoria Azarenka has already been named in the Belarus team, while Wimbledon semi-finalist Kirsten Flipkens is due to play for Belgium.

Both Belarus and Belgium will also be seeded but GB will be keen to avoid both in any play-off.

Likely pots for draw (based on Fed Cup rankings):

Pot one - Belgium, Great Britain, Ukraine, Belarus

Pot two - Austria, Bulgaria, Croatia, Hungary

Pot three - Netherlands, Slovenia, Romania, Portugal

Pot four - Israel, Turkey, Tunisia, Latvia, Luxembourg

  • There will be three groups of four and one of five.


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