The ITF today announced a shortlist of ten players to receive the first four Fed Cup Heart Awards of 2013. Awards will be presented in four categories based on performances in the Fed Cup by BNP Paribas World Group and World Group II first round ties, and the three Zone Group I events at the beginning of February.
Julia Goerges (GER), Daniela Hantuchova (SVK), Ayumi Morita (JPN) and Roberta Vinci (ITA) have all been shortlisted for the World Group/World Group II award. Agnieszka Radwanska (POL) and Heather Watson (GBR) have been shortlisted for Europe/Africa; Sharon Fichman (CAN) and Paula Cristina Goncalves (BRA) for Americas; and Akgul Amanmuradova (UZB) and Galina Voskoboeva (KAZ) for Asia/Oceania.
The players were shortlisted by the Heart Award judging panel, consisting of ITF President Francesco Ricci Bitti and a mixture of former players and members of the international media. A public vote, running on 4-29 March, is being held on FedCup.com and FedCup.com/es to decide the four winners, who will all receive a cheque to be donated to their chosen charity. The winners will be announced during the week of the Fed Cup World Group semifinals and play-off ties on 20-21 April.
ITF President Francesco Ricci Bitti said: “The Fed Cup Heart Award is entering its fifth year and continues to recognise the outstanding contributions made by players to their country and the competition. Fed Cup is celebrating its 50th birthday in the ITF centenary year, and I would like to acknowledge the efforts of all the players during this time who have helped Fed Cup grow to enjoy the success that it does today.”
The Fed Cup Heart Award is an ITF initiative that was first presented to USA's Melanie Oudin at the 2009 Fed Cup Final. It aims to recognise players who have represented their country with distinction, shown exceptional courage on court and demonstrated outstanding commitment to their team.
A total of five players will be recognised in 2013. To cast your vote, click here.