ITF Press Release, May 11, 2020
The ITF has today announced the winners of the Fed Cup Heart Award following a fan vote for performances during February’s Fed Cup by BNP Paribas Qualifiers and Group I Regional events.
Latvia’s Anastasija Sevastova saw off competition from Carla Suarez Navarro, Leylah Annie Fernandez and Aliaksandra Sasnovich to be voted the Fed Cup Heart Award winner from the Fed Cup Qualifiers. The three regional Group I awards were won by Estonia’s Anett Kontaveit (Europe/Africa), Mexico’s Fernanda Contreras Gomez (Americas) and India’s Sania Mirza (Asia/Oceania).
Now in its 11th year, the Fed Cup Heart Award recognises players who have represented their country with distinction, shown exceptional courage on court and demonstrated outstanding commitment to their team.
As the winner of the Fed Cup Qualifiers vote, Sevastova will receive a cheque for $3,000 to be donated to a charity of her choice, and the chosen charities of the regional group winners will also receive a $2,000 donation. Since the first award was given to Melanie Oudin (USA) in 2009, over $200,000 has been donated to charities around the world.
David Haggerty, ITF President and a member of the Fed Cup Heart Award nomination panel said: “Congratulations to these four winners. Fans are at the heart of Fed Cup so to be chosen by the fans as a winner of an award that recognises the competition’s values of team work, courage and national pride is extra special for the players. These values, and all the players nominated for the Fed Cup Heart Award, are what make Fed Cup such a unique and special competition.”
Anastasija Sevastova stunned 23-time Grand Slam champion Serena Williams, who was unbeaten in 14 previous Fed Cup singles matches, claiming the win in a third-set tiebreak. Her chosen charity is Paedusai Latvijal a Latvian national food bank, and she said of winning the award: “I’m very honoured to be included in the Fed Cup Heart Award this year. It’s a great achievement and privilege”
Mexico’s Fernanda Contreras Gomez won all but one of her singles and doubles matches as Mexico booked their place in the Fed Cup Play-offs with victory over Paraguay in a third-set tiebreak. Her chosen charity is the Mexican Association for Aid to Children with Cancer (AMANC) and she said: “I’m very grateful. I couldn´t have done it without my team, my friends, my family and my country. I have no words to describe how I feel but the most important thing is that we´re going to help the children who need the most love and help. Thank you to Fed Cup for organizing this.”
Sania Mirza made her first Fed Cup appearance for India since 2016 and went 3-0 in doubles including victory in the decisive doubles that secured their place in the Play-offs. Her chosen charity is the Telangana Chief Minister’s Relief Fund and she said:“It’s an honour to win the Fed Cup Heart Award as the first Indian. I dedicate this award to the entire country and to all my fans and thank everyone for voting for me. I hope to bring more laurels to the country in the future. I want to donate the money that I get from this award to the Telangana Chief Minister’s Relief Fund as the world is going through very difficult times with the virus”.