Wickmayer wins Heart Award
Yanina Wickmayer of Belgium has become the latest player to be honoured with a Fed Cup by BNP Paribas Heart Award, the International Tennis Federation (ITF) announced on Tuesday.
A public vote was held on FedCup.com and FedCup.com/es to decide the winner, as Wickmayer edged out fellow nominees Daniela Hantuchova, Samantha Stosur and Maria Jose Martinez Sanchez.
All four players were shortlisted by the judging panel for their performances during the World Group play-offs or World Group II play-offs on 24-25 April.
Wickmayer was instrumental in Belgium’s 3-2 triumph over Estonia, winning both her singles rubbers in three sets to help the home team regain its World Group status for the first time since 2007.
The return of Kim Clijsters and Justine Henin made the headlines before the tie, but both players sustained injuries during the weekend and the responsibility fell on Wickmayer to clinch the vital point.
Wickmayer will receive a silver Baccarat bracelet and a cheque for $3,000 to be donated to a charity of her choice. She follows in the footsteps of past winners Melanie Oudin, Jelena Jankovic, Maria-Fernanda Alves, Kimiko Date-Krumm and Katarina Srebotnik.
“I’d like to congratulate Yanina after her outstanding performance in April helped Belgium gain promotion back to the World Group,” said Francesco Ricci Bitti, ITF President.
“Yanina hasn’t missed a Fed Cup tie since making her debut in 2007, which demonstrates a strong commitment to both her team and the competition as a whole.”
The Fed Cup by BNP Paribas Heart Award is a joint initiative between the ITF and BNP Paribas. It aims to recognise players who have represented their country with distinction, shown exceptional courage on court and demonstrated outstanding commitment to their team. A total of six players will be recognised in 2010