Conchita Martinez, the former world number two tennis player, has been appointed director of the finals of this year’s Billie Jean King Cup women’s national teams tennis tournament.
The International Tennis Federation (ITF) announced today (July 13) Martinez would lead the showpiece event in Seville, where 12 national teams will compete to become world champions from November 7 to 12.
ITF president David Haggerty said: “In Conchita Martinez, we now have a legend of the women’s World Cup of Tennis leading the finals this year. In such a significant year for the Billie Jean King Cup by Gainbridge, it is fitting that we will be working with Conchita, who always gave everything she had for her country and has a track record that’s second to none.
“This competition gets bigger, better, and bolder every year and we look forward to working with Conchita to continue that growth.”
Martinez was part of the Spanish team that won the Billie Jean King Cup, previously named the Fed Cup, five times in 1991, 1993, 1993, 1995, and 1998. Throughout her career, she played 53 matches for Spain in the tournament from 1988 to 2004.
Outside the Billie Jean King Cup, Martinez won was crowned Wimbledon champion in 1994 and reached the finals of the 1998 Australian Open and at the 2000 French Open grand slams.
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Speaking at an ITF press conference, Martinez said: “It is a privilege for me to take on this role in the 60th year of the Billie Jean King Cup and I thank the ITF for this opportunity.
“Representing my country in this competition was always a great honor and to win it five times meant everything. I know today’s generation of players take as much pride in playing for their nations as I did, and I am excited to see that passion on show in Seville in November.
“Since re-branding Fed Cup to Billie Jean King Cup, the event has gone from strength to strength. I will do everything I can to make sure that growth continues through this year’s finals.”
Seville was granted hosting rights to the 2023 and 2024 editions of the Billie Jean King Cup in May and also has the option to extend for the 2025 edition.
That deal forms part of a wider partnership between the ITF and local Andalucian government that will see the Billie Jean King Juniors Finals take place in nearby Cordoba.
Malaga, another city in the region, is hosting action from the men’s Davis Cup Finals as part of the same wide-reaching agreement.
This year's Billie Jean King Cup marks the 60th anniversary of the inaugural event.
It will be the first time Spain will stage the Billie Jean King Cup Finals since 2008 and the sixth occasion overall.
The nations involved in the Seville tournament are Switzerland, Australia, Canada, the Czech Republic, France, Germany, Italy, Kazakhstan, Poland, Slovenia, Spain, and the US.
The Billie Jean King Cup was rebranded from its previous incarnation of the Fed Cup in 2020. Last year, the Finals were held in Glasgow, Scotland, with Switzerland crowned champions.
Global sponsors of the event include Gainbridge (title sponsor), Tory Burch, Microsoft, and Magellan.
Last year’s finals were broadcast in a record 196 countries, according to the ITF.
Image: Morgan Hancock/Getty Images