Celebrating 60 years of the Billie Jean King Cup on 2023 semi-finals day
On the penultimate day of the 2023 Billie Jean King Cup by Gainbridge Finals, the International Tennis Federation (ITF) held a special on-court celebration to mark 60 years since the start of the women’s World Cup of Tennis.
In between Saturday’s semi-final ties at Estadio de La Cartuja in Seville, Billie Jean King and David Haggerty (ITF President) were joined on centre court by five-time Spanish champions Conchita Martinez (2023 Finals Tournament Director) and Arantxa Sanchez-Vicario.
David Haggerty presented each of the Spanish duo with a framed photograph of themselves taken during the 2001 first round Billie Jean King Cup (then Fed Cup) tie against Italy in Bari, as a token to recognise their achievements in the competition and their passion for representing their country.
Billie Jean King was also presented with a framed image of herself competing in a Fed Cup tie in 1976, to recognise her monumental and ongoing influence on the competition and women’s sport as a whole.
The flags of 11 nations to have won the competition were displayed on courtside LED screens before the teams from Czechia and Canada took centre stage to do battle for a place in Sunday’s final.
Federation Cup was the original iteration of the competition and when first played in June 1963 it created a ground-breaking platform which granted women deserved opportunity and exposure within tennis and beyond.
Whether Fed Cup or following its most recent rebrand to Billie Jean King Cup in 2020, the women’s World Cup of Tennis has continued to develop as a bold and powerful mechanism for the growth of women’s tennis worldwide.
The Billie Jean King Cup by Gainbridge is now the largest annual women’s team competition in sport, and a record 134 nations entered this year’s event.
Thanks to title sponsor Gainbridge, women are now awarded an equivalent prize money purse to their male counterparts competing in the Davis Cup Finals, and this year’s World Champions will take home a record $2.4 million.
Both the Billie Jean King Cup by Gainbridge Finals and Junior Finals are taking place in Andalucia as part of a wider agreement between the ITF and the Region of Andalucia, which will also see the Davis Cup Final 8 take place in Malaga (21-26 November). The Junior Davis Cup also took place in Córdoba last week, with Czechia clinching the title.
For more information and exciting new content including match action, archive footage and player features visit Billie Jean King Cup website or follow @BJKCup on Twitter, Billie Jean King Cup on Facebook and @billiejeankingcup on Instagram.
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Photo credit: Getty Images for ITF