The Billie Jean King Cup (or the BJK Cup) is the premier international team competition in women's tennis, launched as the Federation Cup in 1963 to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the International Tennis Federation (ITF). The name was changed to the Fed Cup in 1995, and changed again in September 2020 in honor of former World No. 1 Billie Jean King.[2][3] The Billie Jean King Cup is the world's largest annual women's international team sports competition in terms of the number of nations that compete.[4][5] The current Chairperson is Katrina Adams.[6]

Billie Jean King Cup
Current season, competition or edition:
Current sports event 2024 Billie Jean King Cup
Founded1963; 61 years ago (1963)
No. of teams8 (World Group)
99 (total 2016)[1]
CountriesITF member nations
Most recent
 Canada (1st title)
Most titles United States (18 titles)

The Czech Republic dominated the BJK Cup in the 2010s, winning six of ten competitions in the decade. The men's equivalent of the Billie Jean King Cup is the Davis Cup, and the Czech Republic, Canada, Australia, Russia and the United States are the only countries to have held both Cups at the same time.

History edit

Old logo in the Fed Cup era

In 1919, Hazel Hotchkiss Wightman had an idea for a women's team tennis competition. This was not adopted but she persisted, presenting a trophy at the 1923 annual contest between the United States and Great Britain, named the Wightman Cup.

Nell Hopman, wife of the legendary Australian Davis Cup Captain Harry Hopman, later took up Mrs Wightman's original idea. In 1962, a British resident of the United States, Mary Hardwick Hare, presented a dossier proving that support for such an event was overwhelming, persuading the ITF that it was a 'good idea' to have a team championship played over one week in a different venue each year. 40 years after Wightman's idea of a women's Davis Cup, it became a reality. In 1963, the ITF launched the Federation Cup to celebrate its 50th anniversary. Open to all nations the competition became a resounding success.

The inaugural event attracted 16 countries. The competition was supported by the top players right from the start. Held at the Queen's Club, in London, the first contest was between Australia and the United States. Grand Slam champions Darlene Hard, Billie Jean King, Margaret Smith and Lesley Turner all proudly representing their country on court. The United States would emerge the champion nation in the opening year. However, it was to be Australia in the early years, winning seven of the next eleven championships. Around 1980 the United States was able to establish some significant mark on the competition setting in future years a very high standard for others to compete against.

Petra Kvitová with the trophy for the Fed Cup winners, 2011, Moscow

The first Federation Cup had attracted 16 entry teams, despite no prize money and teams having to meet their own expenses. When sponsorship became available, the number of teams expanded dramatically, first by the Colgate Group in 1976, and, from 1981 to 1994 by the Japanese communications and computer giant NEC. In 1994, there were 73 nations competing, with the host nation of a Federation Cup week was now being required to build a special tennis complex, giving rise to what became known as the Federation Cup "legacy." The additional costs of each event could be offset with the host nations viewing their involvement as providing an opportunity to boost their national game.

For the 1992, a regional group qualifying format was introduced. In 1995, the event's name was shortened to the Fed Cup, and a new home-and-away format was adopted as per the Davis Cup, so that women could play for their country in their own country. There have been a number of smaller changes to the format since 1995. The format change implemented in 2005 incorporates an eight Nation World Group I and eight nation World Group II both playing home-and-away over three weekends throughout the year. Three regional groups compete and there are promotions and relegations based on results.

The 2021 edition is set to have US$12 million in prize money.

Format edit

Competition edit

While many nations enter the BJK Cup each year, only 16 countries qualify for the elite World Group and World Group II each year (eight in World Group and eight in World Group II).[7]

They reach World Group and World Group II as follows:

  • (a) World Group – the four nations that win their World Group first round tie remain in the World Group for the following year. First round losers contest the World Group play-offs against the four winning nations from World Group II to determine relegation/promotion for the following year's competition. (The four nations that win World Group play-offs will be in the World Group the following year, while the four losers will start the following year in World Group II.)
  • (b) World Group II – the four nations that win their World Group II ties will compete in the World Group I Play-Offs to determine relegation/promotion for the following year, as described above. Similarly the four nations that lose their World Group II ties will face winning nations from Group I Zonal competitions, in the World Group II play-offs, to determine relegation/promotion. (The four nations that win their World Group II play-offs will be in World Group II the following year, while the four losers will begin the next year in Group I Zonal events.)

Once in the World Group or World Group II, four nations will be seeded in each. The decision as to which nations will be seeded is made by the BJK Cup Committee, according to the ITF BJK Cup Nations Ranking.

At the levels below the World Group and World Group II, the BJK Cup nations compete in Zonal Competition events, which are split into three zones: The Americas Zone, the Asia/Oceania Zone and the Europe/Africa Zone. In each zone there are two groups, Group I being the higher and Group II the lower, except for the Europe/Africa Zone, which also has a Group III.

Within the Group zonal regions, teams are split into pools and play against each other in a round robin format. The exact format of each Group event, and promotion and relegation between them, varies according to the number of participating teams. Two teams are always promoted from Europe/Africa Group I to that year's World Group II Play-Offs, while one team each go to the World Group II Play-Offs from Americas Group I and Asia/Oceania Zone Group I.

Current structure edit

This structure has been implemented since 2016.[7][8]

Level Group(s)
1 World Group I

8 countries

World Group I Playoff

4 countries from World Group I + 4 countries from World Group II

2 World Group II

8 countries

World Group II Playoff

4 countries from World Group II + 2 countries from Group One Euro/African Zone
+ 1 country from Group One Americas Zone + 1 country from Group One Asia/Oceania Zone

3 Group One American Zone

8 countries

Group One Euro/African Zone

15 countries

Group One Asia/Oceania Zone

7 countries

4 Group Two American Zone

11 countries

Group Two Euro/African Zone

7 countries

Group Two Asia/Oceania Zone

15 countries

5 Group Three Euro/African Zone

16 countries

Ties edit

In World Group and World Group II, and World Group and World Group II Play-off ties, each tie is contested in a best of five matches format, and is played across two days. On the first day there are two singles matches, and then the reverse singles matches take place on the following day. The final match is a doubles.

In Zonal Groups I, II and III, ties are played over the best of three matches (two singles and a doubles).

The First Round Ties in the World Group and World Group II are played on a home and away knock-out basis, and take place over a weekend in the early part of the year.

World Group Semi-finals and Final are played over on a home and away knock-out basis, and take place over a weekend in July (Semi-finals) and September (Final).

Play-off ties for World Group and World Group II will also be played on a home and away knock-out basis taking place in July.

The choice of ground for First Round, Semi-finals and Play-off ties is decided by lot or goes automatically to one of the competing nations.

As Groups I, II and III are played in a round robin format in all three zones, each event takes place at a single venue over one week. These are held in the first half of the year (to allow promotion of teams to the World Group II Play-off ties in the second half of the year), and dates and venues are decided by the BJK Cup Committee.

Records and statistics edit

List of championship finals edit

Year Winner Score Runner-up Finals Venue (surface)[9] City Country
Federation Cup
1963   United States (1) 2–1   Australia (1) Queen's Club (G) London   United Kingdom
1964   Australia (1) 2–1   United States (1) Germantown Cricket Club (G) Philadelphia   United States
1965   Australia (2) 2–1   United States (2) Kooyong Club (G) Melbourne   Australia
1966   United States (2) 3–0   West Germany (1) Turin Press Sporting Club (C) Turin   Italy
1967   United States (3) 2–0   Great Britain (1) Blau-Weiss T.C. (C) West Berlin   West Germany
1968   Australia (3) 3–0   Netherlands (1) Stade Roland Garros (C) Paris   France
1969   United States (4) 2–1   Australia (2) Athens Tennis Club (C) Athens   Greece
1970   Australia (4) 3–0   West Germany (2) Freiburg T.C. (C) Freiburg   West Germany
1971   Australia (5) 3–0   Great Britain (2) Royal King's Park T.C. (G) Perth   Australia
1972   South Africa (1) 2–1   Great Britain (3) Ellis Park (H) Johannesburg   South Africa
1973   Australia (6) 3–0   South Africa (1) Bad Homburg T.C. (C) Bad Homburg   West Germany
1974   Australia (7) 2–1   United States (3) Naples T.C. (C) Naples   Italy
1975   Czechoslovakia (1) 3–0   Australia (3) Aixoise C.C. (C) Aix-en-Provence   France
1976   United States (5) 2–1   Australia (4) The Spectrum (ICp) Philadelphia   United States
1977   United States (6) 2–1   Australia (5) Devonshire Park (G) Eastbourne   United Kingdom
1978   United States (7) 2–1   Australia (6) Kooyong Club (G) Melbourne   Australia
1979   United States (8) 3–0   Australia (7) RSHE Club Campo (C) Madrid   Spain
1980   United States (9) 3–0   Australia (8) Rot-Weiss Tennis Club (C) West Berlin   West Germany
1981   United States (10) 3–0   Great Britain (4) Tamagawa-en Racquet Club (C) Tokyo   Japan
1982   United States (11) 3–0   West Germany (3) Decathlon Club (H) Santa Clara   United States
1983   Czechoslovakia (2) 2–1   West Germany (4) Albisguetli T.C. (C) Zürich   Switzerland
1984   Czechoslovakia (3) 2–1   Australia (9) Pinheiros Sports Club (C) São Paulo   Brazil
1985   Czechoslovakia (4) 2–1   United States (4) Nagoya Green T.C. (H) Nagoya   Japan
1986   United States (12) 3–0   Czechoslovakia (1) Štvanice Stadium (C) Prague   Czechoslovakia
1987   West Germany (1) 2–1   United States (5) Hollyburn C.C. (H) Vancouver   Canada
1988   Czechoslovakia (5) 2–1   Soviet Union (1) Flinders Park (H) Melbourne   Australia
1989   United States (13) 3–0   Spain (1) Ariake Forest Park Centre (H) Tokyo   Japan
1990   United States (14) 2–1   Soviet Union (2) Peachtree W.O.T. (H) Atlanta   United States
1991   Spain (1) 2–1   United States (6) Nottingham Tennis Centre (H) Nottingham   United Kingdom
1992   Germany (2) 2–1   Spain (2) Waldstadion T.C. (C) Frankfurt   Germany
1993   Spain (2) 3–0   Australia (10) Waldstadion T.C. (C) Frankfurt   Germany
1994   Spain (3) 3–0   United States (7) Waldstadion T.C. (C) Frankfurt   Germany
Fed Cup
1995   Spain (4) 3–2   United States (8) Valencia T.C. (C) Valencia   Spain
1996   United States (15) 5–0   Spain (3) Atlantic City Convention Center (ICp) Atlantic City   United States
1997   France (1) 4–1   Netherlands (2) Brabant Hall (ICp) Den Bosch   Netherlands
1998   Spain (5) 3–2    Switzerland (1) Palexpo Hall (IH) Geneva   Switzerland
1999   United States (16) 4–1   Russia (3) Taube Tennis Stadium (H) Stanford   United States
2000   United States (17) 5–0   Spain (4) Mandalay Bay Events Center (ICp) Las Vegas   United States
2001   Belgium (1) 2–1   Russia (4) Parque Ferial Juan Carlos I (IC) Madrid   Spain
2002   Slovakia (1) 3–1   Spain (5) Palacio de Congresos (IH) Gran Canaria   Spain
2003   France (2) 4–1   United States (9) Olympic Stadium (ICp) Moscow   Russia
2004   Russia (1) 3–2   France (1) Ice Stadium Krylatskoe (ICp) Moscow   Russia
2005   Russia (2) 3–2   France (2) Court Philippe Chatrier (C) Paris   France
2006   Italy (1) 3–2   Belgium (1) Spiroudome (IH) Charleroi   Belgium
2007   Russia (3) 4–0   Italy (1) Luzhniki Palace of Sports (IH) Moscow   Russia
2008   Russia (4) 4–0   Spain (6) Club de Campo Villa de Madrid (C) Madrid   Spain
2009   Italy (2) 4–0   United States (10) Circolo del Tennis (C) Reggio Calabria   Italy
2010   Italy (3) 3–1   United States (11) San Diego Sports Arena (IH) San Diego   United States
2011   Czech Republic (6) 3–2   Russia (5) Olympic Stadium (IH) Moscow   Russia
2012   Czech Republic (7) 3–1   Serbia (1) O2 Arena (IH) Prague   Czech Republic
2013   Italy (4) 4–0   Russia (6) Tennis Club Cagliari (C) Cagliari   Italy
2014   Czech Republic (8) 3–1   Germany (5) O2 Arena (IH) Prague   Czech Republic
2015   Czech Republic (9) 3–2   Russia (7) O2 Arena (IH) Prague   Czech Republic
2016   Czech Republic (10) 3–2   France (3) Rhénus Sport (IH) Strasbourg   France
2017   United States (18) 3–2   Belarus (1) Čyžoŭka-Arena (IH) Minsk   Belarus
2018   Czech Republic (11) 3–0   United States (12) O2 Arena (IH) Prague   Czech Republic
2019   France (3) 3–2   Australia (11) RAC Arena (H) Perth   Australia
Billie Jean King Cup
2020–21   RTF (5) 2–0    Switzerland (2) O2 Arena (IH) Prague   Czech Republic
2022    Switzerland (1) 2–0   Australia (12) Emirates Arena (IH) Glasgow   United Kingdom
2023   Canada (1) 2–0   Italy (2) Estadio de La Cartuja (IH) Seville   Spain

Performance by country edit

Country Years won Runners-up
  United States 1963, 1966, 1967, 1969, 1976, 1977, 1978, 1979, 1980, 1981, 1982, 1986, 1989, 1990, 1996, 1999, 2000, 2017 (18) 1964, 1965, 1974, 1985, 1987, 1991, 1994, 1995, 2003, 2009, 2010, 2018 (12)
  Czech Republic
1975, 1983, 1984, 1985, 1988, 2011, 2012, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2018 (11) 1986 (1)
  Australia 1964, 1965, 1968, 1970, 1971, 1973, 1974 (7) 1963, 1969, 1975, 1976, 1977, 1978, 1979, 1980, 1984, 1993, 2019, 2022 (12)
  Soviet Union
2004, 2005, 2007, 2008, 2020–21 (5) 1988, 1990, 1999, 2001, 2011, 2013, 2015 (7)
  Spain 1991, 1993, 1994, 1995, 1998 (5) 1989, 1992, 1996, 2000, 2002, 2008 (6)
  Italy 2006, 2009, 2010, 2013 (4) 2007, 2023 (2)
  France 1997, 2003, 2019 (3) 2004, 2005, 2016 (3)
  West Germany
1987, 1992 (2) 1966, 1970, 1982, 1983, 2014 (5)
   Switzerland 2022 (1) 1998, 2020–21 (2)
  South Africa 1972 (1) 1973 (1)
  Belgium 2001 (1) 2006 (1)
  Slovakia 2002 (1)
  Canada 2023 (1)
  Great Britain 1967, 1971, 1972, 1981 (4)
  Netherlands 1968, 1997 (2)
  Serbia 2012 (1)
  Belarus 2017 (1)


Titles by country (since 1995) edit

Country Titles First Last
  Czech Republic 6 2011 2018
5 2004 2021
  Italy 4 2006 2013
  United States 4 1996 2017
  France 3 1997 2019
  Spain 2 1995 1998
  Belgium 1 2001
  Slovakia 1 2002
   Switzerland 1 2022
  Canada 1 2023

Results by country in BJK Cup Finals edit

Country Yrs Won 2021 2022 2023
  Australia 3 0 SF F RR
  Belarus 1 0 RR susp. susp.
  Belgium 2 0 RR RR DNQ
  Canada 3 1 RR RR W
  Czech Republic 3 0 RR SF SF
  France 2 0 RR DNQ RR
  Germany 2 0 RR DNQ RR
  Great Britain 1 0 DNQ SF DNQ
  Italy 2 0 DNQ RR F
  Kazakhstan 2 0 DNQ RR RR
  Poland 2 0 DNQ RR RR
  Russia 1 1 W susp. susp.
  Slovakia 2 0 RR RR DNQ
  Slovenia 1 0 DNQ DNQ SF
  Spain 3 0 RR RR RR
   Switzerland 3 1 F W RR
  United States 3 0 SF RR RR

Team records edit

  • Consecutive titles
  • Consecutive finals appearances
  • Most number of games in a tie
  • Years present in BJK Cup Finals

Individual records edit

1Players must now be aged 14 and over

Heart Award edit

The Heart Award is the ITF's annual "MVP" award related to the Billie Jean King Cup, which "aims to recognise players who have represented their country with distinction, shown exceptional courage on court and demonstrated outstanding commitment to the team."[12] The award was inaugurated in 2009.

Year Winner
2009   Melanie Oudin
World Group SF WG / WG II play-offs WG / WG II R1 Americas ZG I Asia/Oceania ZG I Europe/Africa ZG I
2010   Francesca Schiavone   Yanina Wickmayer   Jelena Janković   Maria Fernanda Alves   Kimiko Date-Krumm   Katarina Srebotnik
2011   Petra Kvitová   Andrea Petkovic   Bojana Jovanovski   Bianca Botto   Ayumi Morita   Victoria Azarenka
2012   Jelena Janković   Daniela Hantuchová   Catalina Castaño   Li Na   Sofia Arvidsson
2013   Sara Errani   Daniela Hantuchová   Paula Cristina Gonçalves   Galina Voskoboeva   Agnieszka Radwańska
2014   Andrea Petkovic   Agnieszka Radwańska   Teliana Pereira   Sabina Sharipova   Simona Halep
2015   Lucie Šafářová   Flavia Pennetta   Irina-Camelia Begu   Verónica Cepede Royg   Tamarine Tanasugarn   Çağla Büyükakçay
2016   Caroline Garcia   Hsu Ching-Wen   Aliaksandra Sasnovich   Nadia Podoroska   Hsieh Su-wei   Kateryna Bondarenko
2017   Aliaksandra Sasnovich   Julia Görges   Aryna Sabalenka   Bianca Andreescu   Galina Voskoboeva   Heather Watson
2018   Petra Kvitová   Eugenie Bouchard   Kristina Mladenovic   Montserrat González   Yulia Putintseva   Olga Danilović
2019   Ashleigh Barty   Katie Boulter   Simona Halep   Carolina Meligeni Alves   Zarina Diyas   Johanna Konta
Finals Qualifiers Play-offs Americas Group I Asia/Oceania Group I Europe/Africa Group I
2020–21   Belinda Bencic   Anastasija Sevastova   Leylah Fernandez   Fernanda Contreras Gómez   Sania Mirza   Anett Kontaveit
2022   Storm Sanders   Iga Świątek   Beatriz Haddad Maia   Beatriz Haddad Maia   Ankita Raina   Kaja Juvan
2023   Leylah Fernandez   Leylah Fernandez   Anhelina Kalinina   Julia Riera   Back Da-yeon   Rebecca Peterson

Current rankings edit

For more information, see ITF rankings

ITF Billie Jean King Cup Nations Ranking, as of 10 December 2023
# Nation Points Move
1   Canada 1,117.07   5
2   Australia 1,093.32  
3    Switzerland 1,072.15   2
4   Czech Republic 1020.32   1
5   Italy 985.00   3
6   France 980.84   2
7   Spain 974.04   4
8    United States 881.94   1
9   Kazakhstan 864.57   2
10   Germany 804.52  
11   Slovakia 757.07  
12   Romania 702.27   5
13   Belgium 682.50  
14   Slovenia 672.26   4
15   Great Britain 671.71   1
16   Brazil 670.78   1
17   Poland 657.56   5
18   Ukraine 653.93   2
19   Mexico 637.85   1
20   Japan 608.85   1

Change since previous ranking update


Broadcasters edit

Country/region Broadcaster
Free Pay Summary Ref
International ITF Qualifiers matches live on Fed Cup TV [14]
  Australia Nine beIN Sports
  • Nine: Australia team matches only, including at the finals round
  • TBA: France team matches at the finals round only, will be announced soon
  • beIN Sports: Selected matches, including the finals round
  France France Televisions
  Argentina TyC Sports, Cable Sport, CVC Sports, TeleRed Sports, One Sports, TVD Sports Selected matches live
  Belarus Belteleradio Belarus matches only
  Belgium VRT (Dutch) Belgium matches only
RTBF (French)
  Brazil DAZN Selected matches, including all Brazil team and at the finals round [16]
  Canada Sportsnet [17]
  Colombia Win Sports [18]
  Czech Republic ČT Sport
  Germany DOSB Live on Sportdeutschland.TV
  Italy SuperTennis Selected matches live
  Japan Wowow Selected matches live, including Japan team
  Kazakhstan QAZTRK
  Latvia Lattelecom Lattelecom: live on Best4Sport channel
  Netherlands Ziggo Selected matches, including all Netherlands team and at the finals round on Ziggo Sport
  Paraguay Pro Star, Teledeportes, TV Deportes, Montelindo Producciones, Capiatá TV Cable Selected matches live
  Romania RCS & RDS Selected matches live, including Romania team
Telekom Romania
  Russia Match TV Selected matches live, including Russia team
  Slovakia RTVS Slovakia matches only, live on :2
  Spain RTVE Spain matches only
   Switzerland SRG SSR Switzerland matches only
  United Kingdom BBC BT Sport GB matches only
  Uganda TPA Sports All matches
  United States Tennis Channel Selected matches live
  Uruguay Tenfield, Teledeportes, TV Deportes, El Tanque Producciones, Las Piedras TV Cable, Selected matches live
  Uzbekistan TBA All matches live

See also edit

References edit

  1. ^ "Fed Cup Number of Nations Participating per Year". ITF. Archived from the original on March 4, 2016. Retrieved January 15, 2016.
  2. ^ Clarey, Christopher (September 17, 2020). "In a Fitting Tribute, the Fed Cup Is Renamed After Billie Jean King". The New York Times. Archived from the original on September 17, 2020. Retrieved September 23, 2020.
  3. ^ "About Us". Archived from the original on September 23, 2020. Retrieved September 23, 2020.
  4. ^ Glenday, Craig, ed. (2008). Guinness World Records 2008. Bantam Books. pp. 497. ISBN 9780553589955.
  5. ^ "About Fed Cup by BNP Paribas". ITF. Archived from the original on February 27, 2016. Retrieved January 13, 2016.
  6. ^ "FED CUP COMMITTEE". Fed Cup. Archived from the original on July 2, 2017. Retrieved January 26, 2018.
  7. ^ a b "Fed Cup Format". ITF. Archived from the original on March 4, 2016. Retrieved January 13, 2016.
  8. ^ "Fed Cup Rules & Regulations". ITF. January 13, 2016. Archived from the original on March 5, 2016. Retrieved January 13, 2016.
  9. ^ (G) – Grass, (C) – Clay, (H) – Hard, (Cp) – Carpet, (Ix) – Indoor
  10. ^ "Billie Jean King Cup Champions". ITF. Archived from the original on February 20, 2023. Retrieved January 13, 2016.
  11. ^ Erik Gudris (February 6, 2016). "Hogenkamp Wins Longest Ever Fed Cup Match Over Kuznetsova". Archived from the original on April 8, 2016. Retrieved February 6, 2016.
  12. ^ "Billie Jean King Cup- Heart Award". Billie Jean King Cup. International Tennis Federation. Retrieved November 13, 2022.
  13. ^ "Nations Ranking". International Tennis Federation. Archived from the original on November 10, 2021. Retrieved November 12, 2021.
  14. ^ "WHERE TO WATCH THE FED CUP QUALIFIERS". Fed Cup. February 3, 2020. Archived from the original on February 5, 2020. Retrieved February 5, 2020.
  15. ^ "Tennis Australia and Nine Network sign landmark rights deal". Tennis Australia. Archived from the original on February 5, 2020. Retrieved February 5, 2020.
  16. ^ "DAZN ANUNCIA TRANSMISSÃO EXCLUSIVA DA 1ª FASE DA FED CUP DISPUTADA NO BRASIL". DAZN (in Brazilian Portuguese). January 20, 2020. Archived from the original on February 5, 2020. Retrieved February 5, 2020.
  17. ^ "Tennis on TV". Tennis Canada. Archived from the original on December 14, 2019. Retrieved February 5, 2020.
  18. ^ "Win Sports | El canal oficial de la Liga y todo el Fútbol Profesional Colombiano". Archived from the original on February 5, 2020. Retrieved February 5, 2020.

External links edit