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British Ladies Tennis Stars To Play FED CUP Matches In Bath • Buy Tickets

By April Tod

Bath the venue for the 2019 Federation Cup by BNP Paribas


Team GB was particularly thrilled when the International Tennis Federation announced last October that the historic spa city of Bath in South West England had chosen to host the Federation Cup Europe/Africa Zone group, the first Federation Cup competition to be staged in the UK for 26 years. The Group tie takes place from 6th to 11th February.

The Lawn Tennis Association is responsible for organising the event and have gone to great lengths to ensure all those taking part are well looked after. Visits are being arranged to many of Bath’s famous historic features including Roman hot water spas, which were rediscovered in the seventeenth century and became an attraction for English society wishing to ‘take waters’ for their supposedly health giving properties.

As Great Britain’s Team Captain, Anne Keothavong said after the announcement, “We are absolutely delighted to be playing the Fed Cup tie in the UK. This will give us a platform to show everyone what the Federation Cup is all about.”  Her words echo the feelings of tennis lovers who for a long time have been trying to make the Fed Cup a high profile event ranking with the Davis Cup.

In many respects Bath University is an ideal site for the event. Since opening in 1976, the university has grown in popularity and now regarded as one of UK’s top performing universities. In 2003 the university invested in a state of the art ‘Sports Training Village’ which boasts every conceivable sporting facility imaginable. There’s a massive 50 meter Olympic size swimming pool and diving pool alongside all kinds of aqua training facilities, a huge Gogo judo matting area for budding judo enthusiasts, ten indoor tennis courts some double up for basketball and a huge multi-purpose gym full of hi-tech equipment. This is where many past, present and future Olympic athletes train, including former Skeleton Olympic gold medallist Amy Williams who hails from Bath and once attended the local Bathwick Junior School.

The Fed Cup format is a round robin where countries are divided into two groups. Each country plays three ties and whichever wins the most number of matches from each group plays in finals of their group.  Team GB are particularly keen to win a place in the promotion play-offs for the third year.

This year’s team of Joanna Konta, Heather Watson, Katie Boulter, Katie Swan and Harriet Dart, face Hungary in the first round in Group A. Also in the same group are Greece, Slovenia and Bulgaria. Counties playing in the opposing Group B, are Serbia, Croatia, Turkey and Georgia. Croatia’s Donna Vekic currently ranked 28 in the world is Group A and B’s highest ranked player.

Bath is also one of UK’s most popular tourist destinations. With a population of around 90,000, it see’s over 100,000 tourists each year, all of whom come to enjoy Bath’s many interesting museums, galleries and top class restaurants. In the past several top TV period dramas and films have used Bath’s grey stone architecture and cobbled streets as backdrops including the hit movie, Les Miserable.

Editor’s Note ~ We are checking. But, we are pretty certain BATH is also the home of the factory that produces the finest TENNIS BALLS in The WORLD.

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