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Lea Pericoli of Italy to be Honored With the 2007 Fed Cup Award of Excellence

NEWPORT, RI — The International Tennis Hall of Fame and the International Tennis Federation (ITF) have announced that Italy’s Lea Pericoli is the recipient of the 2007 Fed Cup Award of Excellence. Presentation of the Fed Cup Award of Excellence will be made on Sunday, September 16, during the Fed Cup World Group Final presented by BNP Paribas and contested between Italy and Russia in Moscow, Russia. Presenting the award to Pericoli will be ITF President Francesco Ricci Bitti who will be joined by 2003 Hall of Famer Françoise “Frankie” Dürr (the 2005 Fed Cup Award of Excellence recipient) and 1985 Hall of Famer Ann Haydon Jones. Pericoli, Durr and Jones all played in Fed Cup competition in 1963.

“Italy is only one of four nations to have participated in every Fed Cup competition to date,” said ITF President Francesco Ricci Bitti. “Lea Pericoli is part of that history and it is our pleasure to honor her with this award.”

Pericoli played in Italy’s first year of Fed Cup competition, in 1963. She played in 17 ties over nine years, posting an overall 15-15 win-loss record (8-8 in singles and 7-7 in doubles). Pericoli was Italy’s No. 1 nationally ranked champion from 1968 through 1971, and again 1973-1975. She won a record nine Italian National Championships, dominating the field from 1968 to 1975. In doubles, she partnered with Sylvia Lazzarino to form a successful tactical doubles team that reached the Italian Championships final six consecutive years (1962-67). Born on March 22 1935, Pericoli married in 1965 and continued to play tennis. At the conclusion of her tennis career, she became a leading tennis journalist and television commentator in Italy. She is a Fed Cup Ambassador for Italy, representing the Italian Federation at all Fed Cup by BNP Paribas ties where their team is playing.

The Fed Cup Award of Excellence was inaugurated by the International Tennis Hall of Fame and the International Tennis Federation in 2001. The Fed Cup Award of Excellence is presented to a person who represents the ideals and spirit of the Fed Cup competition and must be a member of a past or present Fed Cup team.

Past recipients of the Fed Cup Award of Excellence are Spain’s Arantxa Sanchez-Vicario and Conchita Martinez in 2001; Great Britain’s Virginia Wade in 2002; Larisa Savchenko-Neiland of Latvia in 2003; Olga Morozova of Russia in 2004; Françoise “Frankie” Dürr of France in 2005; and Sabine Appelmans of Belgium in 2006.

The 2007 World Group Fed Cup Final presented by BNP Paribas will be contested between Russia and Italy on September 15 and 16 at the Luzhniki Small Sport Arena in Moscow. Russia captured the Cup in 2004 and 2005. Italy remains the defending Fed Cup champion after defeating Belgium in 2006 in their first-ever Fed Cup final appearance.

Fed Cup is the largest annual international team competition for women in any sport. For further information on Fed Cup, including live scoring coverage of the Fed Cup final, visit the ITF’s official Fed Cup website, www.fedcup.com.

The International Tennis Hall of Fame & Museum was established in 1954 and is a non-profit institution dedicated to preserving the history of tennis, inspiring and encouraging junior tennis development, enshrining tennis heroes and heroines, and providing a landmark for tennis enthusiasts worldwide. For more information on the International Tennis Hall of Fame and its programs, please call 401-849-3990 or visit the International Tennis Hall of Fame official website at www.tennisfame.com.

Hall of Fame Class of 2007: Pete Sampras, Arantxa Sanchez-Vicario, Sven Davidson, Russ Adams

 

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