This year’s Billie Jean King Cup Finals was due to take place at the Laszlo Papp Arena in Budapest but it has now been removed as host city; the tournament has already been postponed twice due to COVID-19
Last Updated: 04/05/21 10:47am
The International Tennis Federation (ITF) is seeking a new host city for this year’s Billie Jean King Cup Finals after terminating the agreement it had with Budapest.
The ITF received a letter from the Hungarian Tennis Association (HTA) on April 22 saying it was no longer feasible to host the Finals, citing safety reasons.
The Fed Cup was revamped in 2019 with Budapest winning the right to host the World Cup of tennis format with 12 nations competing over a week for the title. The inaugural edition last April was postponed because of the COVID-19 pandemic. It was rescheduled for last month but was again postponed on health grounds. No new date had been agreed.
The ITF is determined that the competition goes ahead and said they had been left with little option other than to terminate the agreement with Budapest and seek a new host.
“We have been working closely with the Hungarian Government and the Hungarian Tennis Association (HTA) to review all feasible options to reschedule this year’s Finals,” ITF president David Haggerty, an International Olympic Committee (IOC) member.
“After working together in good faith for the past year, we were surprised and disappointed to be informed that the HTA no longer considers it possible to hold the event in Budapest.
“Given the timing, the ITF has been left with no other option than to end the hosting agreement with Hungary and explore an alternative solution.”
France, Russia, Hungary, Australia, Belarus, Belgium, USA, Spain, Slovakia, Czech Republic, Germany and Switzerland have qualified for the Finals.
“The ITF will do everything in its power – for the sport, the players, nations, and the fans – to ensure this landmark competition in tennis and women’s sports will be held as soon as it is reasonably practicable,” Haggerty said.
The competition was renamed the Billie Jean King Cup last year in honour of the American 12-time Grand Slam champion and trailblazer who was part of the winning team of the inaugural Fed Cup in London in 1963.