LTA target London's Copper Box to host Fed Cup tie if GB get home tie

Jo Konta's dramatic clinching of a Fed Cup playoff spot will spark the usual search for a suitable venue over the Easter weekend in the event Great Britain team are given a home tie.
The draw for the next stage of what is still a ludicrously complex competition structure will take place on Tuesday, with a slightly better than even chance of Anne Keothavong's team being given choice of venue.
After the success of Bath pulling in more than 15,000 spectators the Lawn Tennis Association will go for a bigger venue if they get the chance, with the favourite very much the Copper Box in London
's Olympic Park.
The Bolton Arena would be an outside candidate, but the East London venue is available and could host around 5,000 spectators for tennis, having already shown itself as a successful site for netball.
As ever, the problem is trying to find somewhere at short notice, but fan demand is likely to be high after four days of drama in Bath that, once again, underlined the appeal of international team competitions.
What will be a straight promotion play off match will take place on April 20 and 21, with two singles on the Saturday and two singles and a doubles on the Sunday. Among the potential adversaries are Russia and Japan.
A victory in that and GB would be promoted to what is expected to be an expanded elite World Group of 16 nations next year, under a promised and much needed revamp of the format.
'The logistics are challenging because it's a very short turnaround in trying to pull together the operational aspects of staging a tie,' said the LTA's Director of International Events Stephen Farrow. 
'There is a shortage of suitable indoor venues in the UK and with the market for conventions and shows booming in this country they are often booked up a long time in advance.'
After battling to four straight wins Konta, who came back from the brink of collapse on Saturday night to beat Serbia, will next play in Acapulco, Indian Wells and the Miami Open when it comes to solo action.
She clinched a 2-0 victory for GB, but only after a hiatus that followed the second set when the physical and mental stress of trying to win the tie saw her almost fall to the ground just outside the court.
While the group format is an exhausting and pressurised format for the players, the gap between sets was yet another example of how taking time out during matches has become a free-for-all.
The Serbians were understandably unhappy as their player Aleksandra Krunic had her momentum and concentration broken after taking the set.
Konta, who performed heroically in the tie along with Katie Boulter, was not actually breaking the rules. Yet they are far too vague on the whole area of such things as medical timeouts and the now almost obligatory 'toilet' breaks taken by players.
A recent high profile example was Maria Sharapova taking an eight minute hiatus during her Australian Open match against Ash Barty. Almost anything is tolerated by umpires under current non-regulations and stricter protocols are needed.
Comment

No comments found