The ITF has announced that the Billie Jean King Cup by BNP Paribas Play-off tie between Mexico and Great Britain on 5-6 February 2021 will now be hosted by Great Britain.
With additional operational challenges presented by the Covid-19 pandemic, the Committee took the decision to ensure that the organisers have sufficient time to successfully deliver a safe and secure tie. The two teams will compete for a place in the Billie Jean King Cup Qualifiers in 2022. ITF Statement
The Billie Jean King Cup was previously known as the Fed Cup, having been founded in 1963, and is the largest annual international team competition in women’s sport, with 116 nations entered in 2020.
The ITF Committee responsible for the competition voted in favour of reversing the choice of ground due to delays to the organisation of the tie resulting from the ongoing Presidential election process within the Federación Mexicana de Tenis (FMT).
With additional operational challenges presented by the Covid-19 pandemic, the Committee took the decision to ensure that the organisers have sufficient time to successfully deliver a safe and secure tie.
The two teams will compete for a place in the Billie Jean King Cup Qualifiers in 2022.
As Great Britain have been granted choice of ground on this occasion, the next meeting between the two nations will take place in Mexico.
The move means the British team now will be able to choose their preferred surface for the encounter.
The tie was initially scheduled to take place on 17-18 April along with 7 other ties before being postponed following the coronavirus outbreak.
It was then confirmed the meeting between Mexico and Britain would be held in February 2021, with the first edition of the new Billie Jean King Cup due to be held in Budapest in Hungary in April.
The ITF has now announced a change of venue, citing the COVID-19 situation in Mexico as one of the reasons for the decision.
Mexico recently surpassed one million coronavirus cases and is close to reaching 100,000 fatalities, the fourth-highest death toll in the world.
The United Kingdom has the fifth biggest, with more than 50,000 deaths along with 1.34 million cases.
According to a report by Mexican newspaper Milenio, the ITF has also ordered the FMT to hold an assembly this month to end a row over Presidential elections.
In June, Carlos González was named President of the FMT in an election not recognised by an opposition group, led by Mario Chávez.
The ITF and LTA will make an announcement on Britain’s venue for the tie in due course, while it still looks unlikely that the event will take place in front of spectators.
This year’s 12-team BJK Cup Finals, which will feature the two 2019 finalists, the host nation, a wild card and 8 qualifiers, were due to take place in Budapest in April, but the event was postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic and is now scheduled for 13-18 April, 2021 when current champions, France, will defend the title.