Former British number one Julie Hobbs says her time with the Great British Fed Cup team was amazing.

The Fed Cup kicks off this weekend with Great Britain taking on Slovakia today and tomorrow to qualify for the finals in Budapest in April.

Last year's tournament saw Eastbourne's Johanna Konta play as the highest ranked player in the squad, but has decided to sit out of this year's Fed Cup in order to protect her body.

Hobbs, who is from Cuckfield competed for Great Britain in the Fed Cup winning over 20 games in the singles and doubles and she reflected on her memories of the tournament.

Hobbs said: “My time on the Fed Cup team was amazing. Anytime representing your country is special.

"It’s unique in tennis to be part of a team, so you get some great memories from on and off court.

"You are in it together and to have GB on your back is fantastic.”

Hobbs is now head coach at Pavilion and Avenue Tennis Club in Brighton and one of her best players coming through the ranks is Sonay Kartal.

Hobbs has been coaching Kartal for 11 years now and says she is one to watch.

Kartal has set her sights high, having had a strong start in junior tennis.

The 18-year-old is now transitioning into senior and loves having Hobbs as a coach.

She said: “Julie is a great coach, she doesn’t over complicate things and if something needs more work, she just says it which is brilliant.

"I have two other male coaches so it’s great to have a female coach around, and better still one that has done what I am trying to achieve.

"I know where I want to be, and I’m focused on making it on the senior circuit. I also played for the European Summer Cup last year, which is like a small version of Fed Cup, and loved it.

"I absolutely love being part of a team so to reach that goal of playing in the Fed Cup for my country would be amazing.”