The International Tennis Federation is the official organizer of the Federation Cup. Matches are held between women’s teams from different countries.
In 1919, American tennis player Hazel Hotchkiss-Whiteman proposed organizing a women’s team tennis tournament. But no one took the idea seriously. At that time, athletes from Great Britain and the USA were considered the strongest tennis players. Her dream came true only in 1923, but for the winner of the competition she had to buy a prize with her own money. Athletes from the USA and Great Britain met in the first draw. Hazel herself played for the Americans, who became the winners of the meeting. The Whiteman Cup was played until 1989. The famous American tennis player became the captain of the USA team 13 times. She became the team leader for the last time in 1948. In 1963, with the help of Nel Hopman (wife of Australian tennis player Davis Harry Hopman), a tournament was held in honor of the 50th anniversary of the International Tennis Federation. The competition was a worldwide success. Athletes from all over the world came to the tournament. The elite of tennis has practically gathered here. The winners of the first tournament were girls from the USA.
Until the 1970s, the Fed Cup had no sponsors. Athletes provided for themselves. But despite this, the event attracted a huge audience. After 1970, the first sponsors appeared, and the number of teams wishing to show their skills in the tournament increased. By the beginning of the 90s 73 teams took part in the competition, and in 2005 the number of teams reached 88.
In 1992, qualification requirements appeared. The teams played matches for their country at home. And since 2005, all participants of the event have been divided into 2 World Groups. There are 8 teams from different countries in each group. They are the ones who play the Federation Cup during the year. The remaining teams belong to the zonal qualification groups.
Rules of the competition
Each team plays 5 matches over two days. The winner is the side that wins at least 3 matches out of the required 5. Singles matches are held on the first day, the doubles game ends the meeting.
The leaders of the Federation Cup are athletes from the USA, who have won the title 17 times. The second place belongs to the Czech Republic. They have 10 victories on their account. Australia ranks third with 7 titles. The Russians scored 4 times at the tournament. The most titled tennis player of the Fed Cup is Chris Evert, an American athlete.