Billie Jean King Cup

The Billie Jean King 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 2020–21 Billie Jean King Cup
Billie Jean King Cup Logo.svg
Founded1963; 58 years ago (1963)
No. of teams8 (World Group)
99 (total 2016)[1]
CountriesITF member nations
Most recent
 Russia (5th title)
Most titles United States (18 titles)

The relatively small nation of Czech Republic dominated the Fed Cup in the 2010s, as the Czechs won 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, Australia and the United States are the only countries to have held both Cups at the same time.


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 tournament's name was shortened to the Fed Cup, and a new home-and-away format was adopted as trialled by 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.



While many nations enter the Fed 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 Fed Cup Committee, according to the ITF Fed Cup Nations Ranking.

At the levels below the World Group and World Group II, the Fed 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 structureEdit

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


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 Semifinals and Final are played over on a home and away knock-out basis, and take place over a weekend in July (Semifinals) 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, Semifinals 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 second half of the year), and dates and venues are decided by the Fed Cup Committee.

Records and statisticsEdit

Performance by countryEdit

Country Winning Years Runner-up Years
  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 (11)
  Russia 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 (1)
  France 1997, 2003, 2019 (3) 2004, 2005, 2016 (3)
  Germany 1987, 1992 (2) 1966, 1970, 1982, 1983, 2014 (5)
  South Africa 1972 (1) 1973 (1)
  Belgium 2001 (1) 2006 (1)
  Slovakia 2002 (1)
  Great Britain 1967, 1971, 1972, 1981 (4)
  Netherlands 1968, 1997 (2)
   Switzerland 1998, 2020–21 (2)
  Serbia 2012 (1)
  Belarus 2017 (1)

Source: [9]

Titles by country (since 1995)Edit

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

Results by country in BJK Cup FinalsEdit

Country Yrs Won 2021
  Australia 1 0 SF
  Belarus 1 0 RR
  Belgium 1 0 RR
  Canada 1 0 RR
  Czech Republic 1 0 RR
  France 1 0 RR
  Germany 1 0 RR
  Russia 1 1 W
  Slovakia 1 0 RR
  Spain 1 0 RR
   Switzerland 1 0 F
  United States 1 0 SF

Team recordsEdit

Individual recordsEdit

1Players must now be aged 14 and over

Heart AwardEdit

The Heart Award is ITF's annual "MVP" award related to Fed 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.[11] The award was inaugurated in 2009.

Year Winner
2009   Melanie Oudin N/A
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

Current rankingsEdit

For more information, see ITF Rankings

ITF Billie Jean King Cup Nations Ranking, as of 8 November 2021
# Nation Points Move
1   Australia 1,055.50   1
2   France 1,038.17   1
3   Russia 1,035.74   4
4   United States 953.84   1
5   Czech Republic 918.05   1
6   Belarus 872.08   1
7   Germany 825.04   1
8     Switzerland  810.78   7
9   Canada 781.01   1
10   Spain 776.43   1
11   Romania 747.77   3
12   Slovakia 731.46   1
13   Belgium 682.56   3
14   Latvia 651.76   2
15   Great Britain 648.30   2
16   Kazakhstan 633.66   2
17   Italy 619.92  
18   Japan 596.12  
19   Poland 570.31  
20   Serbia 558.38  

Change since previous ranking update

Source: [12]


Country/region Broadcaster
Free Pay Summary Ref
International ITF Qualifiers matches live on Fed Cup TV [13]
  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 [15]
  Canada Sportsnet [16]
  Colombia Win Sports [17]
  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 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 alsoEdit


  1. ^ "Fed Cup Number of Nations Participating per Year". ITF. Archived from the original on 4 March 2016. Retrieved 15 January 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 27 February 2016. Retrieved 13 January 2016.
  6. ^ "FED CUP COMMITTEE". Fed Cup. Archived from the original on 2 July 2017. Retrieved 26 January 2018.
  7. ^ a b "Fed Cup Format". ITF. Archived from the original on 4 March 2016. Retrieved 13 January 2016.
  8. ^ "Fed Cup Rules & Regulations". ITF. 13 January 2016. Archived from the original on 5 March 2016. Retrieved 13 January 2016.
  9. ^ "Billie Jean King Cup Champions". ITF. Retrieved 13 January 2016.
  10. ^ Erik Gudris (6 February 2016). "Hogenkamp Wins Longest Ever Fed Cup Match Over Kuznetsova". Archived from the original on 8 April 2016. Retrieved 6 February 2016.
  11. ^ "Fed Cup Heart Award". ITF. Archived from the original on 28 May 2020. Retrieved 13 January 2016.
  12. ^ "Nations Ranking". International Tennis Federation.
  13. ^ "WHERE TO WATCH THE FED CUP QUALIFIERS". Fed Cup. 2020-02-03. Archived from the original on 2020-02-05. Retrieved 2020-02-05.
  14. ^ "Tennis Australia and Nine Network sign landmark rights deal". Tennis Australia. Archived from the original on 2020-02-05. Retrieved 2020-02-05.
  15. ^ "DAZN ANUNCIA TRANSMISSÃO EXCLUSIVA DA 1ª FASE DA FED CUP DISPUTADA NO BRASIL". DAZN (in Portuguese). 2020-01-20. Archived from the original on 2020-02-05. Retrieved 2020-02-05.
  16. ^ "Tennis on TV". Tennis Canada. Archived from the original on 2019-12-14. Retrieved 2020-02-05.
  17. ^ "Win Sports | El canal oficial de la Liga y todo el Fútbol Profesional Colombiano". Archived from the original on 2020-02-05. Retrieved 2020-02-05.

External linksEdit