Tennis icon Billie Jean King receives Fed Cup Commitment Award

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Tennis icon Billie Jean King receives Fed Cup Commitment Award

The Fed Cup Commitment Award was established in 2016 with a goal to honor the most committed and devoted Fed Cup players who have played 2o World Group ties for their country or 40 overall at any level. Almost 150 players have earned the special award so far, including Margaret Court, Petra Kvitova, Amelie Mauresmo, Mary Pierce, Steffi Graf, Arantxa Sanchez Vicario and the most prominent competitors from the 18-time champions the USA.

After Rosie Casals, Lindsay Davenport, Chris Evert, Gigi Fernandez, Zina Garrison and Martina Navratilova, the legendary Billie Jean King has received the Fed Cup Commitment Award this weekend in Asheville during the World Group first round tie between the USA and Australia.

Recognized as one of the greatest players of all time, Billie Jean King had won 39 Grand Slam titles in her illustrious career, 12 of those in singles and six at Wimbledon between 1966-75. The pioneer and one of the most important figures in the world of women's tennis, Bille is also one of the best Fed Cup players of all time, scoring 52 wins from 56 matches and guiding the USA towards nine finals in nine years she had participated in.

At the age of 19 in 1963, Billie Jean scored all six wins to deliver the first Davis Cup crown for the USA, setting the tone for the rest of her career at this competition before suffering one of rare losses a year later against Australia who stole the crown from the Americans.

Margaret Smith toppled Billie Jean in 1965 final as well before the Americans went all the way in 1966 and 1967 to restore the order. Returning to the national squad in 1976, King pushed her country towards four straight wins over Australia in the final, winning all five rubbers and retiring in glory after the title in 1979 at the age of 35.