Fernandez and Farina Honored

NEWPORT, R.I. — The International Tennis Hall of Fame & Museum and the International Tennis Federation (ITF) have announced that Mary Joe Fernandez, USA Fed Cup Captain, and Silvia Farina, the player with the most Fed Cup wins in Italy’s history, are the recipients of the 2009 Fed Cup Award of Excellence. Presentation of the Fed Cup Award of Excellence will be made on Sunday, November 8 in Reggio Calabria, Italy during the Fed Cup World Group Final presented by BNP Paribas and contested between USA and Italy.

Presenting the award will be ITF President Francesco Ricci Bitti and Jane Brown Grimes, president emerita of the International Tennis Hall of Fame & Museum.

“Mary Joe and Silvia have played an important role in the history and growth of the Fed Cup, with Mary Joe leading Team USA to their first final in nine years and Silvia posting such tremendous results for Italy over the years,” said ITF President Francesco Ricci Bitti. “They have both been active contributors to the Fed Cup and we are honored today to present them with the 2009 Fed Cup Award of Excellence.”

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.

Current Team USA Captain Mary Joe Fernandez was a member of the 1996 winning Fed Cup team. During her career, Fernandez had seven WTA singles victories, 17 doubles titles and was ranked as high as No. #4 in the world. Fernandez captured two Grand Slam doubles victories (1996 French Open with Lindsay Davenport and 1991 Australian Open with Patty Fendick). In addition, she was the runner-up in three Grand Slam singles tournaments. Fernandez has two Olympic gold medals, won in partnership with Gigi Fernández. Fernandez retired in 2000 and is currently a commentator for ESPN.

Italy’s Silvia Farina reached a career high world ranking of No. 11 in 2002. She captured three singles victories and 11 doubles victories during her career. In addition, she represented Italy on nine Fed Cup teams and three Olympic teams. Farina has a record 23 Fed Cup victories, more than any other Italian player in Fed Cup history.

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 of Latvia in 2003; Olga Morozova of Russia in 2004; Françoise “Frankie” Dürr of France in 2005; Sabine Appelmans of Belgium in 2006; Lea Pericoli of Italy in 2007; and Miguel Margets of Spain in 2008.

The 2009 World Group Fed Cup Final presented by BNP Paribas will be contested in Calabria, Italy between USA and Italy on November 7-8. The tournament will be streamed live on


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