• Heather Watson and Katie Boulter picked for the singles
  • Watson and Harriet Dart in the frame for the doubles
LONDON, UK – British stalwarts Heather Watson and Katie Boulter will head up Great Britain’s Billie Jean King Cup team in their home tie against Mexico.

 

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A new name but same competition

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The Billie Jean King Cup, as it is now called, rumbles into action this weekend around the world, and at home, Great Britain has another home tie, playing host to Mexico.

 

READ MORE | Tennis | Billie Jean King Cup 2021 Play-Offs | GB side selected to play Mexico behind closed doors

 

Where is the tie?

Great Britain will play Mexico at the National Tennis Centre in Roehampton, on Friday 16 and Saturday 17 April.

 

What is the format?

The format is a best-of-five format, with the top ranked players of each team taking on the lower ranked opponent on Day 1, and the reverse singles on Saturday with doubles to close if it comes down to the fifth match.

 

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Great Britain

  • Heather Watson (68)
  • Harriet Dart (149)
  • Katie Swan (245)
  • Jodie Burrage (256)
  • Katie Boulter (292)

 

Mexico

  • Marcela Zacarias (285)
  • Giuliana Olmos (434)
  • Fernanda Contreras Gomez (471)
  • Julia Garcia (-)

 

Great Britain’s captain Anne Keothavong has opted for Heather Watson, who has been a part of 45 Billie Jean King Cup squads and is now sixth in the all-time list for most quads made by a British woman. Watson is now tied with Keothavong in terms of her win-loss ratio (21-10).

Heroine of the Copperbox tie, Katie Boulter gets the nod over the higher ranked team members and has been making her return on the tour from that long-term injury sustained in that last tie.

 

Match times

The action begins on Friday at 2pm, BST and on Saturday the first match will be at 11:30am, with the players observing the national minute’s silence at 3pm, for the funeral of HRH Prince Philip.

 

Previews

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Katie Boulter v Marcela Zacarias

Actually not too far apart in the rankings, Boulter started the year with the benefit of her protected ranking and claimed the scalp of USA’s Coco Gauff in her first tournament of the year in Australia, as well as picking up a win against Kristyna Pliskova in Miami.

By contrast Marcela Zacarias might have the same number of wins this year, but has yet to advance to a main draw, including the ITF events she has largely competed in.

 

Heather Watson v Giuliana Olmos

Watson has struggled a little this season for form in matches, even though she asserts that her training has been going well. She did well in the domestic competitions in the deepest throes of the pandemic, but that has not really translated back out on tour.

However, team competition has brought out the best in her, and with the Mexican second string player ranked no. 434 in the world, this really is a chance for Watson to ignite some confidence.

The reverse singles are currently slated to be:

  • Watson v Zacarias
  • Boulter v Olmos

These can be changed up to an hour before the match.

 

 How to watch the action

  • BBC Red Button on Friday & iPlayer across both days
  • LTA Website
  • LTA YouTube Channel

 

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