By Ros Satar
- Anne Keothavong appointed as Senior National Women’s Coach
- Also appointed Fed Cup Captain
- Follows in footsteps of Judy Murray who stepped down from the captaincy earlier this year
LONDON, ENGLAND – Anne Keothavong was named on Thursday as the Senior National Women’s Coach and the Fed Cup Captain.
Former British No. 1 Anne Keothavong will start her duties on December 1, working alongside the Head Coach of Women’s Tennis, Jeremy Bates. Together they will oversee the development and delivery of individual support programmes for aspiring tennis professionals.
In addition she steps into the shoes of Judy Murray as the Aegon GB Fed Cup Team Captain. Keothavong played under the guidance of Murray towards the end of her career, alongside (among others) Laura Robson, Heather Watson, the late and much missed Elena Baltacha and of course the current British No. 1 Johanna Konta.
In a statement by the LTA on Thursday, Bates said: “We have found the best candidate in Anne. She has a tremendous work ethic having gone through triumph and adversity in her own career, and has a burning desire to give back to British Tennis.
“What she brings to the role is first-hand knowledge of the 16-20 development ages, having successfully negotiated this hurdle herself and has extensive WTA and ITF experience to draw from.
“She also has numerous Fed Cup matches under her belt, so she fully understands the pressures and challenges that come along with that. As a coach, Anne is a really good communicator, has a motivational delivery, sets standards and knows what it takes to achieve them and succeed.”
On paper, her credentials make her a perfect fit for the job. She won 20 singles titles from 2001-2013 on the ITF Women’s Pro Circuit; she was a runner-up in the doubles at Florianopolis and a seven-time WTA semi-finalist. In 2009 she was the first woman since Jo Durie to break into the World’s Top 50.
She stated: “I’m delighted and honoured to accept this position in the sport that I love. What a privilege it’s been to see all the British success on the court over the last couple of years, especially this last 12 months.
“But success doesn’t just happen, it takes hard work, dedication, commitment and a desire to continually do better. I really look forward to working with everyone in British Tennis: the performance and coaching teams at the LTA and of course the players as we aim to raise the bar even higher.”
Keothavong started playing Fed Cup in 2001 and missed just one year (2002) during a pro-career that spanned 13 years. She was the youngest Briton to represent her country in Fed Cup (17 years, 221 days) and was only recently surpassed by Katie Swan (270 days younger) this year. She played 40 ties, 44 singles and doubles Fed Cup Rubbers with 21 singles wins.
Konta said, of the appointment: “I think Anne is a great choice as our next [Aegon] GB Fed Cup captain. She will lead from real life experience because she was a winner on court and she knew what it took to step up and play for her country. I wish her the best and look forward to the 2017 campaign.”
LTA Performance Director Simon Timson said: “We are very pleased with Anne’s appointment. She is very well respected within British Tennis and relatively fresh off the Tour. Her wealth of experience will enable Anne to collaborate with our highest potential young players, their coaches and support staff to help them fulfil their potential. We feel confident that Anne will create a positive culture within the Aegon GB Fed Cup Team and empower the players to succeed.”
Keothavong, who reached a career high singles ranking of World No. 48 in 2009 added: “As a young girl growing up in Hackney, I never in my wildest dreams thought tennis would have given me the opportunities it has. That’s why it’s important to always dream big. This is a unique time in our sport, and through our athletes and the Fed Cup, we have the ability to inspire more coming along, both professionally and recreationally, into this great game of ours.”
She will start her new role on December 1 and will fly out to the Australian Open in preparation for the Fed Cup Euro/Africa Zone Group 1 (February 7-12), being held next year in Tallinn, Estonia.
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