ITF Press Release, June 26, 2020
The International Tennis Federation has today announced that the 2020 Fed Cup by BNP Paribas Finals, which were due to be played in April this year before postponement due to the COVID-19 pandemic, have been rescheduled for 13-18 April 2021. The Finals will be played on indoor clay courts at the Laszlo Papp Arena in Budapest, Hungary.
Due to the ongoing challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic, it has not been possible to reschedule the postponed Finals in 2020. In addition to the Laszlo Papp Arena being unavailable over the latter part of the year, there remain significant logistical and regulatory challenges that mean hosting an indoor mass gathering while guaranteeing the health and safety of all involved will not be feasible.
The Fed Cup Finals are the pinnacle of the largest annual team competition in women’s sport and were set to see the world’s best 12 national teams competing over one week in a new-look format to be crowned world champions. Budapest was set to host 60 athletes with significant support teams, as well as thousands of fans, officials, staff, and partners travelling from countries across the world, each at a different stage in dealing with the pandemic. The challenges in hosting a mass gathering of this size at an indoor venue are considerable, both in the current and the anticipated climate. Hosting the competition without fans was not considered a desirable option, given the unique atmosphere created by national supporters.
The 12 teams which have already qualified for this year’s Finals will compete at the rescheduled Finals in April 2021, with the draw for the Finals remaining as published.
The 2020 Fed Cup Play-offs, which were also due to take place in April 2020, will now be played in February 2021. The draw for the Play-off ties will remain the same.
Additionally, the four outstanding 2020 regional events that were due to be played in 2020 (two events in Americas Group II, one event in Asia/Oceania Group II, and the Europe/Africa Group III event) will now be played in 2021, with dates to be announced in due course.
The competition will resume its annual format from 2022 onwards.
David Haggerty, ITF President, said: “Earlier this year, we took the difficult but necessary decision to postpone the first edition of the new-look Fed Cup by BNP Paribas Finals in Budapest due to the COVID-19 pandemic. While it is regrettable that the Finals will not be able to take place this year, we are confident that we will be able to host a superb event in Budapest in April 2021.
“In these extraordinary times, we believe that the best way forward in order both to protect the health and safety of all involved and to best respect the integrity of the competition is to extend this year’s Fed Cup into 2021, with the event returning to an annual basis the following year.
“We would like to thank our partners, the Hungarian Government, for their hard work and continued commitment to the competition.”
Balazs Furjes, Hungarian Secretary of State of Budapest’s Development and International Sports Events, said: “We share the disappointment in having to reschedule the Fed Cup by BNP Paribas Finals until 2021, but we recognise that the health and safety of players, officials, staff and fans must be the most important thing at this time.
“We appreciate the trust that the ITF has shown in us during these difficult times and we look forward to continuing our partnership over the next year and beyond. To host such a prestigious event in our magnificent city underlines our ambition to maintain Budapest’s position as one the global capitals of sport.”