The Fed Cup has suffered over the years, no longer handiest from a “lame identify” however from again and again converting its structure. It did so once more this 12 months, transferring to a 12-team finals in Budapest, which was once in the end canceled as a result of the coronavirus. The development was once rescheduled for 2021.
A number of ladies’s tennis avid gamers would had been worthy of getting the cup named for them, together with Chris Evert and her pleasant archrival Martina Navratilova, who received it with each Czechoslovakia and the US.
However King, who received the cup seven occasions as a participant, has been an ideal participant and nice campaigner: spearheading the founding of the Ladies’s Tennis Affiliation and International TeamTennis and pushing for equivalent rights and equivalent prize cash.
She was once additionally a part of the US staff that received the inaugural Federation Cup in 1963.
“Who higher to call a contest after than any individual who’s in point of fact revolutionized ladies’s recreation”” stated David Haggerty, the I.T.F. president, in a phone interview. “She was once a champion at the court docket. She was once a pioneer off the court docket.”
At 76, King nonetheless brims with power and concepts, and he or she believes a lady’s identify going at the cup must no longer be perceived as merely a favorable transfer for ladies.
“When a lady does one thing, folks at all times suppose we do it for ladies,” she stated. “When a man does one thing, they by no means say they did it for the fellows. And so some of the adjustments I am hoping I will be able to discuss increasingly more is that I would love folks to suppose whilst you see a lady’s identify, you don’t suppose they only did it for ladies or they’re handiest representing ladies. We’re representing folks, identical to you can with the fellows. You don’t pass as much as John McEnroe and say thank you for what you probably did for males’s tennis. You are saying thank you for what you probably did for tennis.”
She endured: “I would like this Billie Jean King Cup to constitute everybody, no longer simply ladies. It in point of fact bothers me, and till we alter that, you’re by no means going to have a lady president of the US. It’s the way in which we take into consideration ladies. We’ve were given to prevent it. Ladies are leaders for everybody. Males are leaders for everybody.”