ITF Press Release, November 18, 2022
The 2022 Billie Jean King Cup by Gainbridge season came to an end in Glasgow on Sunday 13 November, with Switzerland crowned as world champions for the first time at the Billie Jean King Cup Finals. The Swiss team, led by Olympic gold medallist Belinda Bencic, became the 12th nation to lift the famous trophy and the first new champions since Italy in 2006.
It has been an historic year for the women’s World Cup of Tennis, with record numbers of nations and players competing. This was the second season of the competition’s new format, which sees 12 teams gather in one city for the Finals at the end of the year..
In September, Gainbridge was announced as the competition’s new title sponsor – through this partnership, the player prize money on offer at the Billie Jean King Cup Finals was equivalent to the player prize pot of the Davis Cup by Rakuten Finals. The $2 million prize money paid to the victorious Swiss players was the highest amount paid to the winning team in the competition’s history.
Tory Burch became the official outfitter of Billie Jean King Cup in June, and the partnership led to the presentation of winners’ jackets – a first in women’s professional sport – to the victorious Swiss team on Sunday. Meanwhile, existing partnerships with Microsoft and Magellan entered their second year, with successful on-site activations at the Finals by both partners.
While the Finals produce an exciting focal point for the competition at the end of the year, the Billie Jean King Cup has a wide following around the world. The Finals were broadcast on television in a record 196 territories around the world, while the competition’s online channels – BillieJeanKingCup.com and its social media accounts – continue to attract new fans.
The 2023 season, which begins with the Qualifiers on 14-15 April, promises further growth, but it will also be an opportunity to reflect on the competition’s history as the Billie Jean King Cup celebrates its 60th anniversary.
Here is a look back at some of the key facts and figures from a record-breaking Billie Jean King Cup year:
- Switzerland won their first Billie Jean King Cup title after defeating Australia 2-0 on Sunday 17 November thanks to singles victories for Jil Teichmann and Belinda Bencic. It was their third appearance in the final, having finished as runners-up in both 1998 and 2021.
- The Swiss became the 12th nation to win the Billie Jean King Cup, and the first new champion nation since Italy in 2006.
- Olympic gold medallist Bencic, the Swiss No. 1, won all 5 matches she contested at the Finals in straight sets. Bencic has now won 9 of the last 10 Billie Jean King Cup matches she has played.
- Switzerland won all 8 singles matches they played at the Finals. In addition to Bencic’s 4 singles victories in Glasgow, Viktorija Golubic and Jil Teichmann both won 2 singles matches each.
- As a result of their title triumph, Switzerland rose to No. 2 in the year-end Billie Jean King Cup Nations Rankings – their highest position since the rankings were introduced in 2002. Runners-up Australia retained the No. 1 ranking, having first reached the top spot in November 2021.
Players and nations
- 56 players were selected to compete for their nations at the 2022 Billie Jean King Cup Finals – of whom 48 played at least one match.
- Of the 56 players at the 2022 Finals, there were 2 former Billie Jean King Cup champions, 3 Grand Slam singles champions and 6 Grand Slam singles finalists.
- Three players made their Billie Jean King Cup debuts at the 2022 Finals – Paula Badosa, Coco Gauff and Simona Waltert.
- Across all levels of the competition in 2022, 572 players were selected to represent their nations, of whom 459 played at least one match. Both figures are new competition records.
- Over the course of the year, a record 118 nations competed in Billie Jean King Cup – beating the previous record of 107 nations, which was set during the combined 2020-21 Billie Jean King Cup season.
- There were 15 home-and-away ties played this year – across April’s Qualifiers and November’s Play-offs – while there were 9 events played at regional group level during the 2022 season.
Record prize money
- The total prize money on offer at the 2022 Billie Jean King Cup by Gainbridge Finals was $11.4 million (USD) – a record for the competition and up by $1.3 million from 2021.
- Player prize money at the Finals was $8 million, with the remaining $3.4 million being distributed to the competing national associations.
- The Swiss players received $2 million for winning the title – the highest sum received by the winning team since the competition began in 1963. The runners-up earned $1.2 million, both semi-finalists received $800,000 and all teams which failed to advance beyond the group stage were awarded $400,000.
- Player prize money at the 2022 Finals is equivalent to the prize money earned by players at the 2022 Davis Cup by Rakuten Finals. Equivalent prize money at the men’s and women’s World Cups of Tennis is a major goal of both the ITF and new title partners Gainbridge.
- The 2022 Finals and Play-offs were the first Billie Jean King Cup events since Gainbridge were named as the competition’s new title partners. The six-year agreement will run until 2027.
- Tory Burch was announced as the official outfitter of the Billie Jean King Cup in June and world champions Switzerland were presented with the new ‘Billie Blue’ jacket, designed by Tory Burch, following their victory in the final. It is the first time in history that professional female athletes have been awarded a jacket.
- As part of the Billie Jean King Cup partnership with Microsoft, the Billie Jean King Cup Insights app update was released and used by all 12 teams at the Finals, providing near real-time match insights court-side and in team lounges for players and coaches. The update to the application gave players access to all hit points in a rally, third shot placement and more detailed insights for return of serve.
- Magellan continue to invest in women’s sport and are now in the second year of their partnership with the Billie Jean King Cup, and the Billie Jean King Cup is a key event for them to showcase this through their hospitality programme that ran throughout the Finals.
- The 2022 Billie Jean King Cup Finals were shown on television by more than 40 broadcasters around the world.
- The Finals were broadcast in a record 196 territories, demonstrating the competition’s global reach.
- Free-to-air TV coverage was secured in eight of the 12 nations competing at the Finals.
- The Billie Jean King Cup website audience grew during the 2022 Finals (compared to the 2021 edition), with a 41% increase in users, as well as a 60% increase in the number of sessions and a 79% increase in overall page views.
- The competition’s social media channels grew their audiences by an average of 5% during the 2022 Finals, with a 5% increase in engagements too.
- Video content was particularly successful during this year’s Finals, with a 58% increase in total video views on social media compared to the 2021 Finals.