Johanna Konta rules herself out of Great Britain’s Billie Jean King Cup play-off against Mexico


Anne Keothavong’s Great Britain team will be favourites to make it through to the qualifying round for the Billie Jean King Cup 12-team finals event in 2022 against Mexico after the ITF announced that the host country has been switched

Last Updated: 26/03/21 12:20pm

Johanna Konta will not be part of Great Britain’s Billie Jean King Cup play-off tie against Mexico in April

Johanna Konta has revealed she will not be part of Britain’s Billie Jean King Cup – formerly Fed Cup – team for their play-off against Mexico in April because of the amount of time her body will need to transition ahead of the clay-court campaign.

Anne Keothavong’s team will take on Mexico in a World Group play-off at the National Tennis Centre in London next month with the winners looking to secure a place in the qualifying round for the 12-team finals event in 2022.

For the third time since 2019 (having played away for 26 consecutive years) Britain will play on home soil, but they will have to make do without their No 1 player.

With the tie being played on indoor hard courts, Konta wants to give her troublesome knee time to adjust ahead of the clay-court season.

Konta claimed a much-needed victory at the Miami Open (Cal Sport Media via AP Images)

Konta claimed a much-needed victory at the Miami Open (Cal Sport Media via AP Images)

“I’m not going to be able to play it this year,” confirmed Konta, who had won only one match this year prior to facing Pole Magda Linette in the second round of the Miami Open.

“I have already spoken to Annie K [Anne Keothavong] about it. Just because of how it falls in the calendar and just the amount of time my body needs after this tournament to transition onto the clay, I won’t be able to do what I did back in 2019.

“That’s not something I can do with my knee. I need to give it enough time after the hard to adapt to the clay, and I can’t do such quick surface changes with it, so I won’t be able to play this year.”

Vasek Pospisil launched a expletive-laden rant at ATP Tour chief Andrea Gaudenzi (Photo by Michele Sandberg/Icon Sportswire) (Icon Sportswire via AP Images)

Vasek Pospisil launched a expletive-laden rant at ATP Tour chief Andrea Gaudenzi (Photo by Michele Sandberg/Icon Sportswire) (Icon Sportswire via AP Images)

In recent days, Canadian Vasek Pospisil said he felt “deeply unnerved” during a meeting between players and ATP executives. He then launched a expletive-laden rant at ATP Tour chief Andrea Gaudenzi during his first-round loss to American Mackenzie McDonald at the Miami Open, while John Isner called on the tour to give players a clearer picture of the decision-making process behind cuts to prize money.

The WTA have been forced to deal with issues of their own with fewer tournaments scheduled at the back-end of 2020.

Konta feels the women’s tour are a “tough, resilient bunch” praising the WTA for their efforts in keeping the conversation open and transparent with players during a difficult time in professional tennis.

“I know that on the women’s side, we have done a really good job in really trying our best,” she said. “The WTA has really done a good job at trying their best to communicate with players.

“Obviously it’s never perfect in the situations we have had, and this last kind of year and a half there has definitely, sorry, year, it definitely hasn’t been straightforward by any means, but I know they have really invested a lot of time into trying to just keep the players informed as much as possible, as much as is possible. I don’t know if that has something to do with it.

“Maybe the players know a bit more of what’s going on. I’m not sure. But, you know, us women, we’re a tough bunch.”

Johanna Konta picked up the WTA Peachy Kellmeyer player service award

Johanna Konta picked up the WTA Peachy Kellmeyer player service award

The world No 18 picked up the 2020 WTA Peachy Kellmeyer player service award on behalf of the work achieved by the WTA Players’ Council, something which came as a surprise to her.

“That was really lovely,” revealed Konta. “I know that us women on the player council, we won that award as a joint group, but I kind of forgot about it and there were so many things happening anyway.

“But it was nice to get a little plate and really nice to be recognised alongside the other incredible women who are with me on the council. It’s a really good group of girls. A lot of time and energy has been invested from all of them.”

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