The international women's team competition formerly known as the Federation (or "Fed") Cup is set to resume in April of 2021 under a new name as the Billie Jean King Cup presented by BNP Paribas seeks to honor one of the sport's all-time greats.
"As a global campaigner for equality, who has dedicated her life to fighting discrimination, Billie Jean King perfectly represents the values of this competition," said International Tennis Federation President David Haggerty in a press conference on Thursday.
King became the competition's first-ever Global Ambassador in 2019, and will lend her name starting next year when the Finals, postponed from 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, will take place in Budapest, Hungary.
"This will be the first time that a global team competition will be named after a woman," Haggerty continued, confirming both the professional and junior editions of the competition will carry King's namesake. "It is the culmination of landmark reforms to raise the status of this competition and the women's game."
A member of the Original 9 and the founder of the Women's Tennis Association, King won the Fed Cup competition a combined 10 times as both player and coach, and was on hand to help debut the new name and new slogan: "Be Bold. Make History."
I will never forget the joy I felt as a member of the 1st Fed Cup team in 1963. It was a privilege to play for my country.— Billie Jean King (@BillieJeanKing) September 17, 2020
It is with the same feelings of joy & gratitude that I am thrilled to share Fed Cup is now the Billie Jean King Cup by @BNPParibas. #BillieJeanKingCup pic.twitter.com/hzDuWQjv6I
"Playing for our country and playing on a team has always been most fulfilling to me. This Billie Jean King Cup will be built on the founding principles of equality, inclusion, and freedom. It will be a showcase for programs like the ITF's Advantage All initiative, a gender equality strategy for the 21st century.
"Most importantly, we will build champions on and off the court in every country around the world."
The press conference, which was hosted by King's former Fed Cup rival Sue Barker, featured messages from current WTA stars like former World No.1 Simona Halep and two-time Wimbledon winner Petra Kvitova, who has led the Czech Republic to Fed Cup victory six times.
"It's such a special event and I'm happy to hear it will have a bright future," Halep said.
"There is nothing like playing for my country," Kvitova added, "Thanks to Billie Jean King for your continued support of women's tennis."