Konta & Watson in GB team for Fed Cup play-off
|Japan v Great Britain – Fed Cup 2018 play-offs|
|Venue: Bourbon Beans Dome, Miki, Japan Dates: 21-22 April|
|Coverage: Live coverage on BBC Radio 5 live, the BBC Sport website and mobile app.|
Johanna Konta will lead Great Britain’s Fed Cup team when they play Japan in the World Group II play-offs on 21-22 April.
Wimbledon semi-finalist and British number one Konta, 26, and Heather Watson, 25, will be the singles players for the tie on hard courts at the Bourbon Beans Dome in Miki, Japan.
Doubles specialist Anna Smith, 29, and debutant Gabi Taylor, 20, also feature.
Britain have not played in the World Group since 1993.
A win would secure their place in World Group II in 2019 but a loss would mean they return to the Europe/Africa Zone next year.
Konta and Watson won singles matches as Britain beat Hungary 2-0 in February to reach the play-offs.
After the win over Hungary, British captain Anne Keothavong said: “It’s been a great effort to get out of this zone and I don’t want to be back here next year.”
Britain lost 3-2 in Romania in the World Group II play-offs in 2017.
They were also beaten at the same stage in Argentina in 2013 and in Sweden in 2012.
Keothavong said: “I am delighted to name our strongest possible team. We have been so close since 2012 and hopefully the fourth will be a charm.”
Konta has slipped from ninth in the world rankings at the start of the year to 23rd, while Watson, ranked 77th, is on a run of seven straight losses and has not won a match since January.
Taylor has won three lower-tier titles this year to climb from 323 to 175 in the rankings.