What's happened during GB's 26-year World Group absence?


Great Britain won promotion in front of a home crowd in London with a play-off victory over Kazakhstan

Great Britain have ended a 26-year wait for promotion to Fed Cup World Group II this weekend with a 3-1 play-off win over Kazakhstan.

You would have to go all the way back to 1993 to find the last time Britain were in the World Group of women’s team tennis.

Since then, there have been five UK prime ministers, 21 versions of the iPhone, and seven football World Cups.

“Five Live” was the UK’s number one at the time – a set of tracks performed by George Michael, Queen, and Lisa Stansfield at the Freddie Mercury tribute concert.

But what else has happened since Britain dropped out of the World Group 26 years ago?

Three of Britain’s Fed Cup team have been born…

Katie Boulter (left), Harriet Dart (centre) and Katie Swan (right) were all born after 1993. Swann, who is Britain’s youngest Fed Cup team member, was born in March 1999.
British number three Heather Watson was only one year old the last time Great Britain were in the World Group

Take That have had 12 number one singles…

Gary Barlow and friends had their first number one single in the UK music charts in 1993 with Pray. It spent four weeks at the top and was in the charts for 11 weeks.
Take That went on to produce another 11 number ones after that, including Relight My Fire, Back For Good and Shine. Their last number one was in 2014 with These Days. Three of the five original band members are currently on tour in the UK.

Roger Federer has won 20 Grand Slam titles…

Swiss Federer won his 20th Grand Slam title at the 2018 Australian Open and went on to win his 100th ATP tour title in 2019 at the Dubai Open. He didn’t win his first Grand Slam title until 2003 when he beat Mark Philippoussis in the Wimbledon final.

The number of worldwide mobile phone subscriptions has increased…

In 1993, only 3.4 million people in the world had a subscription for a mobile phone. The last survey in 2018 revealed that the worldwide total has shot up to 8.1 billion in the space of 26 years.

There have been 11 Olympic tennis singles champions…

Britain’s Andy Murray won gold in the men’s singles at both the 2012 and 2016 Olympic Games. He also won a silver medal in London in the mixed doubles alongside Laura Robson.
American sisters Venus Williams and Serena Williams last won gold together in the women’s doubles at the 2012 Olympics. They had already won gold at Sydney 2000 and Beijing 2008. Venus won the singles event in 2000 too, while Serena won gold in the 2012 singles.

Average house prices have more than doubled…

In the 26 years since Britain last competed in the World Group, house prices across the UK have doubled. In 1993, it cost an average of £100,969 to buy a house. In 2018, the average cost was £214,578.

And Manchester United have won 22 domestic trophies and three European titles…

Manchester United won their first Premier League title in 1993 under Sir Alex Ferguson. Steve Bruce and Bryan Robson (pictured above) collected the trophy. The prize money was £815,210 when they won in 1993 but United earned £60.8m when they claimed their last title in the 2012-13 season.
Ferguson was in charge for the same length of time as Britain’s absence from the Fed Cup World Group – 26 years. In that time, the club won 13 Premier League titles, two Champions Leagues, four FA Cups and four League Cups. Under Jose Mourinho, United added the Europa League to their trophy haul and another FA Cup. In total, they have won 22 domestic trophies and three European titles since 1993.

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