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Anne Keothavong reigns as next British Fed Cup Captain after Judy Murray

Anne Keothavong reigns as next British Fed Cup Captain after Judy Murray

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by GALE MOORMAN

As bombs and explosions could be seen and heard for miles, Somsak and his wife Vathanna decided on just running out of their war torn country of Laos, situated between Burma and Cambodia. They took very little and escaped to Hackney, London where it was safe from destruction and violence.

There, they settled and raised their family, two daughters Anne and Lena and two sons James and Mark. At seven, Anne was the one showing a greater interest to 'short tennis', a mini version of the full sized adult sport of which her dad had taught her.

All of the children took a liking, but it was Anne's passion that persuaded her parents to enroll her at Hackney Downs and Highbury Fields for lessons. By 12 years old, Anne had played her first match in juniors with the ITF and won in singles a title at the LTA Junior International Tournament at Bisham Abbey.

She'd reach three semis, one at the 2001 Wimbledon girls' tournament and ten quarterfinals. Anne's first professional match was at 14 on the ITF circuit. She'd lost in the first qualifying round but found tennis to be challenging and quite competitive where even playing in her home country of England after a few years netted her a yearly ranking of just 702.

Anne had the fortune to be a lucky loser and given wild cards in WTA tournaments as the DFS Classic, Sunfeast Open, Bank of the West and grand slams-the Australian Open, Wimbledon and the US Open. But in 2009, Anne's drive at making a return from a drop shot at the Bank of the West tournament caused her to run into a net post seriously injuring her knee, the ligaments and meniscus that five years ago she sustained in ther right knee.

Keothavong was out of tennis action for six months and returned in 2010 to Fed Cup. She was able to participate in the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells and the Sony Ericsson Open in Miami and Wimbledon. She also entered the 2010 Luxembourg Open using a 'protected ranking' and made it to the semifinals after defeating France's Virginie Razzano, Patty Schnyder and Iveta Benesova.

Anne had a great year and it was complete as she and Laura Robson received around $48,000 for personal coaches and a travel budget of $12,000 for going to other events being that they were a member of Team Aegon. Anne's ability to enter events was great as she played in the 2012 ASB Classic in Auckland, two grand slams-the Australian Open and the French as well as being selected to be on the Great Britain Fed Cup Team.

Anne's presence was also needed at the 2012 Summer Olympics despite only going to the first round. In 2013, proved to be Keothavong's last year of playing professional tennis. Anne says that "I have given my decision a lot of thought and I believe this is the right time to move on to the next state of my career".

She had reached a career high of 48 quite a few years ago and decided to turn her attentions to other avenues of tennis. Roger Draper, chief executive of the Lawn Tennis Association had this to say about the situation that "Anne's courage was evident in coming back from not one but two challenging knee surgeries...we wish her well in the next chapter of her life".

Anne had felt honored to partner with her sister Lena in helping the Cumberland Tennis Club to win a National Open Women's Championship now that she was retiring from professional tennis. She'd also acquired the position as being a commentator for BT Sport in the process.

The next few years were personally successful for Anne as she became engaged to her boyfriend and soon to be husband Andrew Bretherton, a lawyer in the corporate and commercial sector with UK and US constitutes and a contributor to the Core-Browne company.

The same year in 2014, her brother James, chair umpire was named "Aegon Official of the Yar at the 2014 British Tennis Awards. Anne's other brother Mark, is busy as a marketing executive with the Telegraph Media Group in London.

The following year in 2015, Anne wed Andrew and gave birth to their daughter Ava. It was on November 29 of this year (2016), another revelation happened to Anne as she was confirmed to be the new Coach and Captain of Great Britain's Fed Cup team to succeed Judy Murray's captaincy after six years.

Keothavong was a viable candidate that has a strong tennis history, having played 44 Fed Cup singles and plenty of doubles matches during her 13-year pro tennis career. A team member and Britain's number one lady player, Johanna Konta says that "I think Anne is a great choice as our next Fed Cup Captain.

She will lead from real life experience...she was a winner on court and knew what it took to step up and play for her country". As for Anne herself, it is unbelievable as being the new captain and says "As a young girl growing up in Hackney, I never in my wildest dreams thought tennis would have given me the opportunities it has".

She has her work cut out for her as she prepares the team for the Europe/Africa Zone Group I tournament in Tallinn, Estonia on February 7-12. Anne will also be involved with the LTA's (Lawn Tennis Association's) programs all year round, helping people to embark into the sport of tennis and gearing the British team on becoming successful in their Fed Cup journeys.

www.telegraph.co.uk/www.wikipedia.com .

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