Great Britain will face Slovakia away from home in a qualifying tie for next year’s new Fed Cup Finals.

Anne Keothavong’s team will play the five-match tie, for a place in the 12-team Finals, on 7-8 February.

This year’s finalists and France, hosts Hungary and wildcards the have already qualified for April’s Finals in Budapest.

The new format means Great Britain, for the first time since 1993, will begin a year with a chance to win the trophy.

Previously, only the eight teams in the competition’s top tier could lift the trophy. Under the new system, 20 teams start the year with the chance to win.

Britain had been in the third tier of the Fed Cup for 26 years until they secured promotion to the World Group by beating in London in April.

Their trip to Slovakia was one of eight qualifying ties drawn on Wednesday.

Qualifying ties for place in Fed Cup Finals (hosts named first)
United States v Latvia
Netherlands v Belarus
v Russia
Spain v Japan
Switzerland v
Belgium v
Slovakia v Great Britain

The Finals will be played on clay at Laszlo Papp Budapest Sports Arena from 14-19 April.

There is an $18m (£14.2m) prize fund. Of that, $12m (£9.5m) will go to the players, and the other $6m (£4.75m) to their national associations.

Each team will share $500,000 for reaching the Finals, with the winning team dividing $3.2m (£2.5m) between the players.

The Fed Cup, which was founded in 1963, is the largest annual international team competition in women’s sport.

The Davis Cup – the men’s equivalent team competition – has already undergone significant reform and in November 18 teams will compete for the title in the inaugural finals in Madrid.


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