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Fed Cup

Fed Cup logo

History

The international team competition in women’s tennis, Fed Cup, was inaugurated as the "Federation Cup" to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the International Tennis Federation in 1963. The first event was staged on the famed grass courts at London's Queen's Club, where the United States, led by Billie Jean King and Darlene Hard, shut out the Netherlands, Italy, and Britain before pulling off a stunning upset over the highly favored Australian team of Lesley Turner and Margaret Smith. Since emerging as the annual event’s first champion, the United States has maintained its place in the Fed Cup's legacy, winning the trophy a record 17 championships in the past 41 years

By 1994, 73 nations took part in the annual competition, and the host nation of "Federation Cup" week was now required to build a special tennis complex. This increase in entries led to the creation of regional qualifying competitions in 1992, and, subsequently, in 1995 the Federation Cup adopted a new format and shortened its name to the Fed Cup.

Format

Like the men’s tennis-counterpart Davis Cup, each head-to-head match-up between nations is referred to as a "tie" in Fed Cup play. Originally, ties were best-of-three, with a point each for two singles and one doubles match. The event was also staged at one site, one week each year. Now however, the Fed Cup format is similar to Davis Cup, with each tie the best-of-five matches, played over two days. Two singles matches are played on the first day, with reverse singles and a doubles match on the second.

World Group and World Group Play-off Ties

Each year sixteen national tennis teams qualify for World Group play based on their performance the previous year, and thereby win the right to compete for the Fed Cup championship. First-round ties take place over a weekend in the spring – in 2004 they were held in April. Winning teams advance to the quarterfinals, which are also played on an elimination basis, over a weekend in the summer – July in 2004. The semifinals and final are decided by the Fed Cup committee and usually held in the same location. In 2004 Russia won its first Fed Cup championship in front of a home crowd in Moscow.

More than 100 countries competed in the Fed Cup competition in 2004. The largest annual competition for women in sports, almost every prominent player in history has participated in the competition. These include Billie Jean King, Margaret Court, Chris Evert, Virginia Wade, Martina Navratilova, Steffi Graf, Martina Hingis Venus Williams, Serena Williams, Justine Henin-Hardenne, Amelie Mauresmo, Jennifer Capriati, Kim Clijsters, and Anastasia Myskina.

Fed Cup Schedule
  • World Group I First Round:
    April 22-23, 2006
  • World Group I Semifinals:
    July 15-16, 2006
  • World Group I Final:
    September 16-17, 2006
Fed Cup: The Premier Women's International Competition

Fed Cup is the largest annual competition for women in sports. Since it's inauguration in 1963 most every prominent player of each era has participated in Fed Cup. Players such as Billie-Jean King, Margaret Court, Chris Evert, Virginia Wade, Martina Navratilova, Steffi Graf and Martina Hingis appear alongside many of today's stars such as Venus and Serena Williams, Justine Henin-Hardenne, Amelie Mauresmo, Jennifer Capriati, Kim Clijsters and Anastasia Myskina.