The Billie Jean Cup (formerly known as the Fed Cup) is the premier international team competition in women’s tennis. It was founded in 1963 by the International Tennis Federation (ITF) and is named after American tennis player Billie Jean King, a former world No. 1 and advocate for gender equality in sports.
The Billie Jean Cup is played annually among teams of female players from different countries in a format similar to that of the Davis Cup, which is the equivalent competition for men. The competition is divided into several rounds, starting with a series of regional group stages, followed by a playoff round, and ultimately culminating in the World Group, where the top eight teams compete for the championship title.
Each tie in the Billie Jean Cup consists of five matches: four singles matches and one doubles match. The winning team is determined by the number of matches won, with the first team to win three matches declared the winner. The matches are played over a weekend, with two singles matches played on the first day, followed by two more singles matches and a doubles match on the second day.
The Billie Jean Cup has a rich history of showcasing some of the best female tennis players in the world. Many notable players, such as Billie Jean King, Martina Navratilova, Chris Evert, Steffi Graf, Serena Williams, and Maria Sharapova, have competed in the competition over the years.
The Billie Jean Cup has also been a platform for promoting gender equality in sports. In 2020, the competition was renamed to honor Billie Jean King and her legacy as a pioneer for women’s tennis and gender equality. Additionally, the ITF has launched several initiatives to increase the participation and visibility of women in tennis, including the Girls Tennis Network, which aims to encourage girls to play tennis and provide them with opportunities to learn and develop their skills.