Judy Murray, Britain’s Fed Cup captain, tells The Tennis Space about her ambitions for her team of “very gorgeous, fun girls” ahead of this weekend’s tie in Sweden.
On the showcase for the British women’s game
“There has been more attention on the Fed Cup after what the girls achieved in Israel earlier this year, and I hope that this tie – which is being shown on Eurosport – will be a showcase for women’s tennis. I’ve got four very gorgeous, fun girls in my team, and it’s great to show off that side of the sport, the lighter side, to show girls that this is a really great sport to be playing. It would be great to have a home tie in the Fed Cup soon – there hasn’t been one for years – so the British public can really understand what it’s about.”
On ambitions for this weekend
“Britain hasn’t been in the Fed Cup World Group since 1993 – and we will be if we win this tie – so this is a fantastic opportunity for the two older players in our team [Elena Baltacha and Anne Keothavong] to have the opportunity to play at that level.”
On darts, team spirit, and the example set by Elena Baltacha and Anne Keothavong
“I’ve been very impressed by the professionalism shown by Bally and Anne. They are great role models, and I’ve noticed that Laura [Robson] and Heather [Watson] have increased their level since the Israel tie. We’re lucky to have a good mix of experience and youth, with two teenagers just starting out on their journeys. There’s a great team spirit.
“We’ve brought our dart board and will be playing that in the team room. I’m not brilliant at darts, I can hardly get the darts to stick in the board. Laura is the best ‘dartist’. We’ve brought some other games to play in the team room. We’re very focused on what we need to do, but we’re having fun, and the girls have made sure that this is very enjoyable. Laura rapped at the last tie, but I don’t think there will be any rapping opportunities at this evening’s official dinner.”
On having a good pack of players
“It’s good to have four players all pretty close in the rankings. If you look at the Swedish team, they have one player ranked around 50 in the world, then around 70, and after there’s a drop to almost 500 in the rankings.”
On the bright future for Laura Robson and Heather Watson
“It’s great for Laura and Heather that they’re two of them so close in age, as they’re going to share the limelight. They’re both exciting players, and they have very different games. Laura has a big serve and a big strike off the ground, and Heather’s a real counter-puncher, able to absorb power at the baseline. They’re also fun personalities, and friends, so they’re going to support each other. I can’t see anything but good at the moment.”