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19 April 2014

Radwanska leads Heart Award presentations


Photo: Daniel MaurerAgnieszka Radwanska (POL) receives the Heart Award from ITF Executive Vice President Juan Margets

Agnieszka Radwanska, Simona Halep and Teliana Pereira were all presented with their Fed Cup Heart Awards this weekend, with each receiving a cheque to be donated to their chosen charity.

Polish No. 1 Radwanska received her second Fed Cup Heart Award, before going on to win all three of the rubbers she played on 19-20 April to help Poland defeat Spain 3-2 and reach the Fed Cup by BNP Paribas World Group for the first time.

Halep and Pereira, representing Romania and Brazil respectively in this weekend's World Group II play-offs, won the Heart Award for the first time following their fine Fed Cup performances in February.

Radwanska has donated her cheque for $6,000 to the Alma Spei foundation in Krakow that supports children with terminal illnesses and their families.

“I think it’s great to play [Fed Cup]," said Radwanska. "I’ve been playing for the last couple of years and I really think it helped my team to go up and, you know, I’m very happy about it and I’m always ready to play.

“Of course the schedule is tough – a lot of tournaments sometimes in a row – but, you know, I’m really happy to play, especially now when we have a chance to go to the World Group.

“I think that’s why I’ve achieved this Heart Award because I’ve been playing Fed Cup for a couple of years now without any break."

Halep opted to give her cheque for $1,000 to the National Paralympic Team of Romania. The Romanian wheelchair players who received the cheque on Friday, Ciprian Anton, Mihai Gaita and Ionut Filisan, were the same that represented their country in the BNP Paribas World Team Cup European Qualification event in Antalya, Turkey last month - finishing sixth of the 11 teams.

Halep said: "It means a lot to me because it shows my desire to play for my country and I am really glad that I won it. I decided to donate the cheque to the Romanian Paralympic team because they are living a difficult life and need all the support they can get from us."

Brazil's Pereira, who won the award after winning all four of her singles rubbers in February to lead Brazil into the World Group II play-offs, was delighted to receive her accolade. She donated her cheque for $1,000 to the Creche da Escola Municipal Salviano Gomes Leite, a school in Barra da Tapera that she lived next to as a child.

“I feel really happy. I feel special," Pereira said. "We had a great time in Asuncion so I think it’s just amazing because you play for your country and then you receive a gift like this so I’m very happy.”

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  • More photos

    • Agnieszka Radwanska (POL) receives the Heart Award from ITF Executive Vice President Juan MargetsTeliana Pereira (BRA)
    • ITF President Francesco Ricci Bitti and Heart Award winner Simona Halep (ROU) with representatives from the Romanian Paralympic team

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