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Konta remains upbeat for Fed Cup despite slipping down the rankings

JOHANNA KONTA remains positive about progress after slipping down the Women’s Tennis Association rankings.

At the beginning of 2018 Konta ranked in the world’s top 10 but now sits 46th, despite this, she remains Britain’s top-ranked female player.

British number one, Konta will lead the team’s push for Fed Cup promotion when she faces Kazakhstan in a best-of-five play-off this weekend at London’s Copper Box Arena.

A win against Kazakhstan would put Britain among the eight teams in World Group II, with another eight above them competing for the overall title.

Potential format change means the prize on offer could be even bigger.

It is the fifth time in  eight years that Britain have reached the play-offs and previous to this every match has been held away from home.

Konta is bullish about her own form having started working with new coach Dimitri Zavialoff in October.

The 2017 Wimbledon semi-finalist hopes that the crowd can play its part. 

“Overall, I feel good about the work I am putting in with my own team,” Konta says. 

“I am enjoying my tennis and enjoying my life, so it’s a good position to be in.”

GB captain Anne Keothavong has the country’s five top players in her team including Konta, Katie Boulter, Heather Watson, Harriet Dart and Katie Swan.

Watson, who missed February’s Europe/Africa Zone round robin in Bath due to illness, is back in the team. 

“I will at least be courtside this time around and will hopefully get to play because that would be really special to play at home,” Watson said. 

Reflecting on her illness Watson said: “I was the most ill I've been in my life. It was dreadful … I even damaged a rib from coughing too much … I was bed-bound the whole time.”

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