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Friday March 05, 2010

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Public vote opens for Fed Cup by BNP Paribas Heart Award

The International Tennis Federation (ITF) announced nominations for the first four recipients of the 2010 Fed Cup by BNP Paribas Heart Award.

A public vote is now taking place on FedCup.com and FedCup.com/es to decide the winners. Each winner receives a cheque to be donated to her chosen charity.

Following the Fed Cup by BNP Paribas ties in February, ten players have been shortlisted by the Heart Award judging panel in four categories – see list below:

World Group / World Group II first round

Jelena Jankovic (SRB)

Flavia Pennetta (ITA)

Samantha Stosur (AUS)

Yanina Wickmayer (BEL)

Americas Zone Group I

Maria-Fernanda Alves (BRA)

Mariana Duque-Marino (COL)

Asia/Oceania Zone Group I

Kimiko Date-Krumm (JPN)

Tamarine Tanasugarn (THA)

Europe/Africa Zone Group I

Arantxa Rus (NED)

Katarina Srebotnik (SLO)

The Fed Cup by BNP Paribas Heart Award is a joint initiative between the ITF and BNP Paribas. It aims to recognise players who have represented their country with distinction, shown exceptional courage on court and demonstrated outstanding commitment to their team.

A total of six awards will be presented in 2010, with two further players being recognised following the World Group / World Group II Play-offs and World Group semifinals. The Fed Cup by BNP Paribas Heart Award was launched at the 2009 Final, when American Melanie Oudin was the inaugural winner.

Francesco Ricci Bitti, ITF President, said: “The Fed Cup by BNP Paribas Heart Award is proving a great success on a number of levels. It provides fantastic recognition for the commitment players give to the competition and their country, makes a real difference to the charities that benefit from the donations, and gives fans an opportunity to go online and get involved. I would like to congratulate all the shortlisted players for their excellent achievements on and off the court.”

Antoine Sire, BNP Paribas Head of Brand, Communication and Quality, said: "BNP Paribas' sponsorship of the Fed Cup since 2005 has contributed to our Group's development globally whilst at the same time allowing this prestigious competition to grow. The Heart Award programme is part of this mutually beneficial partnership: it ensures the promotion of the Fed Cup by BNP Paribas and rewards the commitment and loyalty of the players in the competition. These values are found in the relationships which the bank enjoys with its clients all over the world.”

Value of cheques

$10,000 World Group semifinals winner – to be presented at the Final (x1)

$3,000 World Group / World Group II Play-offs winner (x1)

$3,000 World Group / World Group II first round winner (x1)

$1,000 Zone Group I winners (x3)

Judging panel

Francesco Ricci Bitti (ITA), ITF President

Arantxa Sanchez-Vicario (ESP), former Fed Cup player

Mercedes Paz (ARG), former Fed Cup player

Craig Gabriel (AUS), international journalist

Sandra Harwitt (USA), international journalist

Corinne Dubreuil (FRA), international photographer

Ray Giubilo (ITA), international photographer

Find out more information about Fed Cup by BNP Paribas at: www.fedcup.com

Find out more information about the International Tennis Federation (ITF) at: www.itftennis.com

More information about the players:

Jelena Jankovic (SRB)

After Svetlana Kuznetsova gave Russia a 1-0 lead in Belgrade, Jankovic staged a remarkable recovery

in the second rubber to keep Serbia in the tie. She trailed Alisa Kleybanova 46 14 15-40, but fought

back tenaciously to win 11 straight games. The following day, she clinched another three-set victory, this

time over Kuznetsova, the world No. 4. In the doubles rubber, however, she was unable to clinch the

decisive victory when partnering Ana Ivanovic.

Flavia Pennetta (SRB)

Playing away in Kharkiv, Pennetta won both of her singles rubbers to turn the tie around against

Ukraine. With Italy trailing 1-0, she defeated the Bondarenko sisters, first Kateryna and then Alona, in

straight sets to put her team in a commanding position. These victories provided teammate Francesca

Schiavone with the opportunity to win the decisive point for the defending champions.

Samantha Stosur (AUS)

Stosur rose to the occasion in front of the Aussie fans in Adelaide by winning all three rubbers during the

weekend – the only player in the World Group or World Group II to achieve this feat. Her singles win

from a set down against Spain’s Maria-Jose Martinez Sanchez, a player she had never previously

beaten, set the tone for Australia and she backed this up with another singles victory over Anabel

Medina Garrigues. With the score tied at 2-2, she paired up with Rennae Stubbs to impressively defeat

Martinez Sanchez and Nuria Llagostera Vives, who are both ranked inside the world’s Top 10 doubles


Yanina Wickmayer (BEL)

In the absence of Kim Clijsters and Justine Henin, Wickmayer led the Belgian team in Bydgoszcz. She

defeated Marta Domachowska in the opening rubber and then, with the score tied at 1-1, came through

another titanic battle, this time with Agnieszka Radwanska, Poland’s top player. She faced three match

points in the second set tiebreak, but bravely battled back to win an epic three-setter, paving the way for

Kirsten Flipkens to clinch victory in the fourth rubber.

Maria-Fernanda Alves (BRA)

Alves demonstrated outstanding team spirit throughout the week, leading Brazil to victories over Puerto

Rico and Cuba, and a fourth place finish. In the final round-robin tie, she came from a set down to defeat

Canada’s Aleksandra Wozniak, the only loss for the Top 40 player.

Mariana Duque-Marino (COL)

Duque-Marino maintained a 100 per cent record in the round-robin stage, playing in the No. 1 position

for Colombia. Her hard fought singles win over Paraguay’s Rosana de los Rios - and subsequent

doubles victory - in the final pool match fired her team into the promotion play-off against Canada, in

which she was defeated by Aleksandra Wozniak.

Kimiko Date-Krumm (JPN)

Date-Krumm, who will turn 40 years old in September, made her Fed Cup comeback having not played

for Japan since 1996. She impressively won all four of her singles rubbers without dropping a set,

helping the Japanese team to reach the World Group II Play-offs. In the final tie, she suffered an ankle

injury in the first game against Chinese Taipei’s Yung-Jan Chan, a Top 100 player, but battled on to win

in two tight sets.

Tamarine Tanasugarn (THA)

Tanasugarn, a Fed Cup veteran having played 63 rubbers, displayed her usual passion for representing

Thailand. She remained unbeaten in singles play during the round-robin stage, including an impressive

straight sets victory over Kazakhstan’s Yaroslava Shvedova, a Top 50 player. Due to injury, she was

unfortunately sidelined for the play-off tie against New Zealand.

Arantxa Rus (NED)

Rus, competing in her third Fed Cup campaign, won three out of four singles rubbers playing in the No.

1 position, helping Netherlands to finish in joint fifth place. In all her matches, she was the lower ranked

player. Her comfortable victory over Shahar Peer was the stand-out result of the week, as the Israeli is

currently ranked just outside the world’s Top 20.

Katarina Srebotnik (SLO)

Srebotnik - a former Top 20 player who is now ranked in the 400s - suffered numerous injuries that kept

her out of action in 2009, making her exploits for Slovenia all the more impressive. She remained

unbeaten throughout the week, leading her team into the World Group II Play-offs for the first time since


Please note: Rankings and other information correct at time of Fed Cup by BNP Paribas ties during

week beginning 1 February.





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