LONDON, UK - The first four winners of the Fed Cup by BNP Paribas Heart Awards for 2012 are Daniela Hantuchova for World Group and World Group II and Li Na, Sofia Arvidsson and Catalina Castaño for Zone Group I.
The Fed Cup by BNP Paribas Heart Award recognizes players who have represented their country with distinction, shown exceptional courage on court and demonstrated outstanding commitment to their team in Fed Cup play. A total of five players will be recognized in the 2012 season.
The winners were decided by a public vote on the Fed Cup's official website, with over 10,000 fans placing their votes there. All of the winners receive a silver Baccarat bracelet and a cheque to be donated to their chosen charity.
"Thank you to everyone for giving me this very special award," Hantuchova said. "It means more than any trophy I have, since it's from the fans, and that's the reason I play tennis, to share wonderful moments on the court with all of you.
"I also want to thank everyone for all the support in Fed Cup over the years. Playing for my country in Bratislava was a wonderful week I will never forget!"
Francesco Ricci Bitti, ITF President, said: "There were some outstanding performances in the Fed Cup ties in February and I'd like to congratulate Daniela, Sofia, Catalina and Li Na. This award continues to reward players for the commitment they make to their team and the competition as a whole. I'm sure the four winners will take great pride in making their donations to charity."
Hantuchova has been a Fed Cup stalwart for Slovakia for over 10 years, and showed she continues to have the desire to succeed as she extended her overall record in the competition to 31-15 with two singles wins during her team's 3-2 victory over France in the World Group II first round in Bratislava.