The government released 65 million CZK from the budget reserve for the organization of the final tournament of the Billie Jean King Tennis Cup (formerly Fed Cup) in the Czech Republic.
Thanks to this, the tennis association can sign an agreement with the International Tennis Federation (ITF) for the top women’s tennis event, which should take place in the O2 arena in Prague in the first week of November.
The final tournament was to be played in Budapest, but was canceled last year and postponed this year due to the coronavirus situation. The Hungarian capital gave up the organization of the event in May.
“The government has approved the provision of 65 million CZK to the Czech Tennis Association through the National Sports Agency for the organization of the championship,” said Finance Minister Alena Schillerová (ANO) at a press conference after the cabinet meeting.
The head of the Czech Tennis Association, Ivo Kaderka, stated in mid-June that he was negotiating the organization of the final tournament in Prague with the ITF management. “Today’s approval of the contribution to cover part of the organizing costs of the Billie Jean King Cup in Prague was the last step before signing the contract with the ITF,” Kaderka told the media.
“This is the result of my agreement with ITF President David Haggerty to move the competition from Budapest to Prague. It is a huge diplomatic success,” Kaderka said.
It will be the largest global sports event organized in the Czech Republic. The best teams and their matches will be broadcast in 175 countries worldwide.
The Fed Cup was renamed the Billie Jean King Cup last year in honor of the 12-time Grand Slam winner and fighter for gender equality and social justice Billie Jean King. The cash prizes for the final tournament participants also increased to $18 million.
The original draw is valid for twelve qualified teams. The Czechs who received the wild card are in group D together with Switzerland and Germany. Australia, Belarus, Belgium, France, Hungary, Russia, Slovakia, Spain, and the USA will also compete.
Czech tennis players are the most successful team in the competition of the last decade, since 2011 they have won six of the country’s eleven trophies. The remaining five titles were won by Czechoslovakia. The last time they celebrated winning a silver cup was in 2018.