Fed Cup the female Davis Cup
The ladies' equivalent of the Davis Cup, the Fed Cup is an international team championship that regularly attracts many of the top twenty female tennis players in the world to fight for their countries. It's a competition that has featured the very greatest names in the women's game, from Billie Jean King and Margaret Court through to Martina Navratilova, Steffi Graf and the Williams sisters. These days the likes of Angelique Kerber, Simona Halep, Garbine Muguruza, Johanna Konta, Karolina Pliskova and Petra Kvitova continue to proudly play for their nations in this increasingly high-profile championship. Check out StubHub for Fed Cup tickets near you.
Five decades of achievement
Queen's Club, London, hosted the first Fed Cup in 1963. Sixteen countries entered the competition, with the USA narrowly emerging the victors over Australia in the final. By the early '90s, the number of nations fielding teams had risen to 70, a development that reflected the growing depth of the women's game. As the championship continued to expand, it went through various changes of format, until in 2005 it settled on its current three tier system. At the top of the pyramid sits the elite World Group I of eight nations who compete for the title. Below that is World Group II, while the lowest level consists of several regional zones. National teams battle for promotion and against relegation, playing both home and away over three weekends spread across the year.
The shifting balance of power
Thanks to inspirational figures such as Wendy Turnbull and Christ Evert, Australia and the United States dominated the Fed Cup throughout the '60s, '70s and early '80s. The USA still holds the record of 17 titles, while Australia has claimed 7 in all. By 1980 these two great sporting nations had sparred against each other in no less than 10 finals. During the 1990s Spain was in the ascendant with 4 trophies, due in no small part to the baseline skills of Arantxa Sanchez-Vicario. Russia came to the fore during the first decade of the new millennium, sealing comprehensive 4-0 victories against Italy and Spain in 2007 and 2008. In more recent times, honours have been divided between Italy and the Czech Republic, which now ranks behind only the USA in Fed Cup success with 10 trophies and counting.
Similar to Fed Cup tickets
To see the men in action, search StubHub for Davis Cup tickets, or book yourself a place at the mighty Australian Open Grand Slam.