The Fed Cup is an international women's team tennis competition first contested in 1963. The event is similar to the men's Davis Cup, featuring teams of players representing a nation in head-to-head play with other nations. As of 2012, 80 nations compete annually, with the top eight playing in the three-stage World Group I competition.
The defending Fed Cup champion is the Czech Republic, having won its seventh championship (including those won as Czechoslovakia) in 2012. The United States has the most Fed Cup championships, with 17, but has not won since 2000.
The Fed Cup has its roots in international competitions first held in 1923 between the United States and Great Britain. In 1963, the ITF launched the Federation Cup to celebrate the organization's 50th anniversary, opening the competition to all nations.
The United States and Australia dominated the early competitions. Australia won seven times in the first 12 years the Federation Cup was held, while the U.S. won five times in that span. Powered by Chris Evert, Tracy Austin and Billie Jean King, the U.S. won seven consecutive Federation Cup titles between 1976 and 1982, still the longest consecutive win streak by any nation.
Originally, the Federations Cup was played between 16 nations in a week-long competition at a single venue, which rotated on an annual basis. In 1992, the Federation Cup had expanded to enough nations to create regional qualifying competitions. In 1995, the event underwent a complete restructure, changing its name to the Fed Cup in the process. The new format matched that of the men's Davis Cup, with rounds being played at different stages throughout the year in a home-and-away format, rather than the one-week, one-site format of the Federation Cup.
Currently the Fed Cup nations are divided up into three zones: American, Euro/African and Asia/Oceania. The American and Asia/Oceania zones are divided into two groups, with the Euro/African zone being split into three groups. Teams from the lower groups compete in zonal competitions to move up to the higher World Groups.
The 16 top nations are split into World Group I and World Group II. World Group I -- the group that competes for the Fed Cup -- is comprised of the four semifinalists from the previous year and the four winning squads from the World Group I playoff.
The four nations that lose in the World Group I quarterfinals move on to the World Group I playoff, where they're joined by the four winning nations from the World Group II first round, to compete for the final four spots in the following year's World Group.
The four World Group II teams that lose their first-round tie fall into the World Group II playoff, where they compete with four teams from the zonal competitions to secure a World Group II spot for the following year.
In World Group I and World Group II, ties consist of five matches played over the course of two days. The first day features two singles matches, and the second day features the reverse singles matches. The doubles match is played last.
All ties take place on the chosen home ground of either the higher-seeded team or a team chosen by lot. The first round takes place in the early part of the year, with the semifinals being played in the spring or summer and the finals near the end of the season.
The zonal competitions are a round-robin, three-match format, taking place at a single venue early in the year, allowing time for the teams to be promoted to the World Group playoffs.
Year-by-Year Fed Cup Results
|2012||Czech Republic||3-1||Serbia||O2 Arena||Indoor Hard||Prague|
|2011||Czech Republic||3-2||Russia||Olympic Stadium||Indoor Hard||Moscow|
|2010||Italy||3-1||United States||San Diego Sports Arena||Indoor Hard||San Diego|
|2009||Italy||4-0||United States||Circolo del Tennis||Clay||Reggio Calabria, Italy|
|2008||Russia||4-0||Spain||Club de Campo Villa de Madrid||Clay||Madrid|
|2007||Russia||4-0||Italy||Luzhniki Palace of Sports||Indoor Hard||Moscow|
|2006||Italy||3-2||Belguim||Spiroudome||Indoor Hard||Charleroi, Belgium|
|2005||Russia||3-2||France||Court Philippe Chatrier||Clay||Paris|
|2004||Russia||3-2||France||Ice Stadium Krylatskoe||Indoor Carpet||Moscow|
|2003||France||4-1||United States||Olympic Stadium||Indoor Carpet||Moscow|
|2002||Slovakia||3-1||Spain||Palacio de Congresos||Indoor Hard||Gran Canaria, Spain|
|2001||Belgium||2-1||Russia||Parque Ferial Juan Carlos I||Indoor Clay||Madrid|
|2000||United States||5-0||Spain||Mandalay Bay Events Center||Indoor Carpet||Las Vegas|
|1999||United States||4-1||Russia||Taube Tennis Stadium||Hard||Stanford, Calif.|
|1998||Spain||3-2||Switzerland||Palexpo Hall||Indoor Hard||Geneva|
|1997||France||4-1||Netherlands||Brabant Hall||Indoor Carpet||Den Bosch, Netherlands|
|1996||United States||5-0||Spain||Atlantic City Convention Center||Indoor Carpet||Atlantic City, N.J.|
|1995||Spain||3-2||United States||Valencia T.C.||Clay||Valencia, Spain|
|1994||Spain||3-0||United States||Waldstadion T.C.||Clay||Frankfurt, Germany|
|1993||Spain||3-0||Australia||Waldstadion T.C.||Clay||Frankfurt, Germany|
|1992||Germany||2-1||Spain||Waldstadion T.C.||Clay||Frankfurt, Germany|
|1991||Spain||2-1||United States||Nottingham Tennis Centre||Hard||Nottingham, UK|
|1990||United States||2-1||Soviet Union||Peachtree W.O.T.||Hard||Atlanta|
|1989||United States||3-0||Spain||Ariake Forest Park Centre||Hard||Tokyo|
|1988||Czechoslovakia||2-1||Soviet Union||Flinders Park||Hard||Melbourne, Australia|
|1987||West Germany||2-1||United States||Hollyburn C.C.||Hard||Vancouver|
|1986||United States||3-0||Czechoslovakia||Stvanice Stadium||Clay||Prague|
|1985||Czechoslovakia||2-1||United States||Nagoya Green T.C.||Hard||Nagoya, Japan|
|1984||Czechoslovakia||2-1||Australia||Pinheiros Sports Club||Clay||São Paulo|
|1983||Czechoslovakia||2-1||West Germany||Albisguetli T.C.||Clay||Zurich|
|1982||United States||3-0||West Germany||Decathlon Club||Hard||Santa Clara, Calif.|
|1981||United States||3-0||Great Britain||Tamagawa-en Racquet Club||Clay||Tokyo|
|1980||United States||3-0||Australia||Rot-Weiss Tennis Club||Clay||West Berlin|
|1979||United States||3-0||Australia||RSHE Club Campo||Clay||London|
|1978||United States||2-1||Australia||Kooyong Club||Grass||Melbourne, Australia|
|1977||United States||2-1||Australia||Devonshire Park||Grass||Eastbourne, UK|
|1976||United States||2-1||Australia||The Spectrum||Indoor Carpet||Philadelphia|
|1975||Czechoslovakia||3-0||Australia||Aixoise C.C.||Clay||Aix-en-Provence, France|
|1974||Australia||2-1||United States||Naples T.C.||Clay||Naples, Italy|
|1973||Australia||3-0||South Africa||Bad Homburg T.C.||Clay||Bad Homburg, West Germany|
|1972||South Africa||2-1||Great Britain||Ellis Park||Hard||Johannesburg|
|1971||Australia||3-0||Great Britain||Royal King's Park T.C.||Grass||Perth, Australia|
|1970||Australia||3-0||West Germany||Freiburg T.C.||Clay||Freiburg, West Germany|
|1969||United States||2-1||Australia||Athens Tennis Club||Clay||Athens, Greece|
|1968||Australia||3-0||Netherlands||Stade Roland Garros||Clay||Paris|
|1967||United States||2-0||Great Britain||Blau-Weiss T.C.||Clay||West Berlin|
|1966||United States||3-0||West Germany||Turin Press Sporting Club||Clay||Turin, Italy|
|1965||Australia||2-1||United States||Kooyong Club||Grass||Melbourne, Australia|
|1964||Australia||2-1||United States||Germantown Cricket Club||Grass||Philadelphia|
|1963||United States||2-1||Australia||Queen's Club||Grass||London|
NEWS RESULTS FOR FED CUP
FED CUP QUICK FACTS
No. of teams: 8 (World Group I)
Defending champion: Czech Republic
Most titles: United States, 11
2013 World Group I schedule
2013 FED CUP
WORLD GROUP I
Finals - Nov. 2-3
Russia at Italy
Semifinals - April 20-21
Italy def. Czech Republic, 3-1
Russia def. Slovak Republic, 3-2
First Round - Feb. 9-10
Czech Republic def. Australia, 4-0
Italy def. United States, 3-2
Russia def. Japan, 3-2
Slovak Republic def. Serbia, 3-2
WORLD GROUP PLAYOFFS
Playoff Round - April 20-21
Germany def. Serbia, 3-2
Australia def. Switzerland, 3-1
Spain def. Japan, 4-0
United States def. Sweden, 3-2