Johanna Konta forced to pull out of Great Britain’s Fed Cup squad

Johanna Konta forced to pull out of Great Britain’s Fed Cup squad
Johanna Konta in action during her Australian Open semi-final defeat to Angelique Kerber

Johanna Konta in action during her Australian Open semi-final defeat to Angelique Kerber. Photograph: Bi Mingming/ Bi Mingming/Xinhua Press/Corbis

Johanna Konta has been forced to pull out of Great Britain’s Fed Cup squad for their Europe/Africa Zone Group I event.

Konta, who reached this year’s Australian Open semi-final, where she was beaten by the eventual champion Angelique Kerber, was due to line up in Israel next week alongside Heather Watson, Anna Smith and Jocelyn Rae, but she is now out of contention with an intestinal problem.

“After having consulted with two doctors, my coach, physio and the LTA, unfortunately I will have to withdraw from the upcoming Fed Cup in Israel,” read a statement from Konta, who has risen to No28 in the world rankings after her success in Melbourne. “I have been advised by the doctors that playing there would jeopardise an ongoing intestinal issue that got progressively worse through the Australian Open.

“This comes as a big disappointment to me and I regret not being able to play. I have represented GB every time I have been asked to and fully intend to play again given the opportunity in the future.”

Great Britain are paired against Georgia and South Africa in Pool B. Their captain, Judy Murray, said: “While it’s obviously very disappointing, we still have a squad of players capable of winning through the Euro/Africa Zone Group I.

“I have a couple of days to fill the fourth spot, and that gives two of our most promising teenagers Katie Swan and Freya Christie the chance to join Heather Watson and our doubles specialists Jocelyn Rae and Anna Smith in the team.”

Konta beat Venus Williams in the first round of the Australian Open andwent on to become the first British female player since Jo Durie to make a grand slam semi-final. theguardian.com

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