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12 April 2013

Robson: Team bonding is what makes Fed Cup


NEWS ARTICLE

Photo: Nir KeidarLaura Robson with Johanna Konta (GBR)

Be it sharing a win, consoling each other during a loss or, if you’re part of the Great British squad, enjoying a laughter-filled evening game of charades, there’s nothing quite like the team environment that Fed Cup by BNP Paribas brings.

Laura Robson, for one, says she can’t wait to link up with her compatriots for another dose of the competition when Great Britain faces Argentina on 20-21 April in the World Group II play-offs.

“I like it,” said the 19-year-old lefthander of Fed Cup. “It makes a nice change and it’s good having a big group of people around you all the time.

"Team events are always fun anyway but in the evenings we do our little team bonding session of charades and things like that to make our evenings a little bit more fun.”

The world No. 39 has won just two matches on tour since the Australian Open, against Italian Camila Giorgi in Miami and Spaniard Estrella Cabeza Candela in Charleston, but thrived in a team environment on her last Fed Cup outing in February.

Robson played a key role in a successful Europe/Africa Zone Group I campaign for Judy Murray’s team in Eliat, Israel, winning all three of her singles matches to help Great Britain earn an away tie against the World Group II first round losers.

“It’s not totally ideal to be going to Argentina in the middle of the European clay court season,” admitted Robson. “But it’s great that we’ll be on clay so we can go straight back into tournaments after it.”

The British No. 1 has been named alongside world No. 154 Johanna Konta, No. 184 Anne Keothavong and No. 209 Elena Baltacha for the tie, with the latter returning to the squad after foot surgery in place of No. 41 Heather Watson, who is recovering from Glandular Fever.

Argentina captain Bettina Fulco, meanwhile, names an unchanged team from the side that squandered a 2-0 advantage against Sweden to lose 3-2 in the World Group II first round, with world No. 145 Paula Ormaechea, No. 203 Maria Irigoyen, No. 239 Florencia Molinero and No. 328 Mailen Auroux bidding to keep the team in the second tier.

Ormaechea tore a ligament in February’s tie, an injury that ultimately sparked the Swedes dramatic turnaround, and Robson knows the Argentine No. 1, and her team, will be hungry to avoid a second straight loss on the clay of Parque Roca.

“I will have to play really well in my singles matches and also in doubles if it comes down to that but I’m really excited,” said Robson. “I think the crowd is going to be pretty tough out there but it’s all part of the Fed Cup experience.”

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