Wikipedia - Billie Jean King Cup

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. 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. The current Chairperson is Katrina Adams.

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.


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.

The Billie Jean King Cup is a prestigious international tennis tournament that brings together the best female tennis players from around the world. Named after the legendary tennis player and women's rights activist, Billie Jean King, this tournament is a celebration of women's tennis and their incredible talent.

The tournament features a team format, where countries compete against each other in a thrilling display of skill, strategy, and teamwork. Each team is represented by their top players, who battle it out on the court to secure victory for their nation. The competition is fierce, as players showcase their agility, power, and finesse in every match.

The Billie Jean King Cup is not just about the sport, but also about promoting gender equality and empowering women in tennis. It serves as a platform to honor Billie Jean King's legacy and her tireless efforts to fight for equal opportunities for women in sports. The tournament aims to inspire the next generation of female athletes and encourage them to pursue their dreams in tennis.

The event is held in top-notch tennis facilities, providing a world-class experience for both players and spectators. The atmosphere is electric, with passionate fans cheering on their favorite teams and players. The tournament also attracts global media attention, as it showcases the best of women's tennis and highlights the incredible talent on display.

The Billie Jean King Cup is not just a tennis tournament; it is a celebration of women's achievements in sports and a testament to their determination and resilience. It is a must-watch event for tennis enthusiasts and a source of inspiration for all, as it continues to push boundaries and break barriers in the world of women's tennis.