Copper Box Arena to host Great Britain Fed Cup
- Credit: Archant
The LTA has announced that East London is to stage an international team tennis tie for the first ever time.
The Copper Box Arena at Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park will be the venue for the Fed Cup by BNP Paribas World Group II Play-Off.
The tie will see Great Britain battling it out against Kazakhstan from 20-21 April, with GB aiming to return to the World Group for the first time since 1993.
Taking the tie to the Hackney venue is a key part of the LTA’s new strategy to open up tennis to new audiences and areas, through showcasing the GB women’s team and bringing world-class tennis to new and existing British fans.
It is only the fourth time in 24 home ties that a Fed Cup or Davis Cup has been staged in the capital, and never before in East London.
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The announcement was made at a visit to Clapton Girls Academy in Hackney by LTA Chief Executive Scott Lloyd and GB Fed Cup Captain Anne Keothavong, who herself grew up in Hackney.
The pair played tennis and took questions from Year Nine Pupils at the school.
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The tennis programme at Clapton Girls Academy is part of an East London schools project supported by a partnership between the LTA and charity Greenhouse Sports, using tennis coaching and mentoring to empower young people who are facing disadvantage and help them unlock their full potential.
Scott Lloyd, LTA CEO said: “We are very proud to bring our Fed Cup tie against Kazakhstan to East London.
“Building on the success of the 2012 Olympic Games, we are hoping the backdrop of an iconic venue like the Copper Box Arena will spur our team onto victory.
“We want to enable as many fans as possible to attend and give new audiences the opportunity to experience the thrill of live tennis and support our GB team’s bid to reach the world group level of the fed cup for the first time since 1993.”
Anne Keothavong, Great Britain’s Fed Cup Captain, added: “It’s very special to come back to my home borough of Hackney.
“Having grown up and started playing tennis here, I never dreamt that one day I would be coming back and leading the British team in what is the world cup of women’s team tennis.
“It just goes to show the power of sport and demonstrates to these young women what can be achieved if you work hard. “Looking ahead to April, words can’t describe the sense of anticipation we are going to have playing our first World Group Play-Off at home having played the last four away.
“Home support makes such a massive difference in sport and we saw the impact the GB fans had in getting the team over the line in Bath recently.
“For the fans, I’m hoping that seeing our players perform with all they have got will inspire the next generation of kids to get out there and get involved with tennis.”
Sports Minister Mims Davies said: “It’s great news that the LTA is taking this crucial Fed Cup tie to the iconic Copper Box arena in East London to showcase the world class talents of our women’s tennis team.
“The atmosphere will be electric and the support the team will get from our fans will be crucial as they bid to return to the World Group.
“This event will provide an important platform to help grow the sport and bring in new fans and players.”
Lyn Garner, Chief Executive of the London Legacy Development Corporation, said: “We are thrilled to be hosting the Fed Cup and we look forward to welcoming thousands of tennis fans to the Copper Box Arena.
“It’s yet another fantastic sporting event taking place at Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.”
Russ Barnes, Partnership Manager of Copper Box Arena, GLL added: “Following the success of the London 2012 Games, Copper Box Arena has firmly established itself as a world class sporting venue.
“We are delighted to be hosting the Fed Cup in partnership with the LTA to continue this great sporting legacy.
“We look forward to welcoming this exciting event here in April.”
This will be a unique opportunity to see Great Britain battle it out over two days playing two singles matches on Saturday, with the reverse singles and doubles on Easter Sunday.
Tickets will go on general sale next week and the venue capacity is expected to be at 5,800.
As part of the LTA’s strategy to make tennis more accessible, ticket prices start from £6 for children under 16 and £12 for adults.
For further information on the GB Fed Cup team please go to www.lta.org.uk/FedCup.