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07 November 2010

King receives Award of Excellence


Photo: Paul ZimmerFrancesco Ricci Bitti and Billie Jean King

Billie Jean King was honoured with the 2010 Fed Cup Award of Excellence on Sunday by the International Tennis Hall of Fame & Museum and the International Tennis Federation (ITF).

The Award was inaugurated in 2001 and is presented to past and present members of a Fed Cup team who best represent the ideals and spirit of the competition.

Presenting the Award on court shortly before the start of the reverse singles in San Diego, were ITF President Francesco Ricci Bitti and Mark Stenning, chief executive officer of the ITHF.

"Billie Jean King is one of the sport's all-time greats, both on court and in all her accomplishments away from tennis," said ITF President Francesco Ricci Bitti.

"She has been an active and successful contributor to Fed Cup, and her fight for equality in sports and society has had an immensely positive effect on the competition. In recognition of all that she has achieved, we are honored to present Billie Jean King with the Fed Cup Award of Excellence."

Billie Jean King was a member of seven winning United States teams in 1963, 1966, 1967, and 1976 through 1979.

Over the years, King earned a remarkable Fed Cup winning record of 52-4 (26-3 in singles and 26-1 in doubles). She won the last 30 straight matches she played.

In addition to being a successful competitor, King was a record-setting Fed Cup captain as well, having led the USA team to four titles, tying her with Vicky Berner (USA) and Miguel Margets (ESP) for the most wins by a captain.

King also won 39 Grand Slam singles, doubles and mixed doubles titles. She is a co-founder of the Women's Tennis Association and World TeamTennis, and is the founder of the Women's Sports Foundation. King was inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame in 1987.

Past recipients of the Fed Cup Award of Excellence are Spain's Arantxa Sanchez-Vicario and Conchita Martinez in 2001; Great Britain's Virginia Wade in 2002; Larisa Savchenko of Latvia in 2003; Olga Morozova of Russia in 2004; Françoise "Frankie" Durr of France in 2005; Sabine Appelmans of Belgium in 2006; Lea Pericoli of Italy in 2007; Miguel Margets of Spain in 2008 and Mary Joe Fernandez of USA and Silvia Farina of Italy in 2009.

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