Billie Jean King desires mixed tennis World Cup, shirt numbers


American tennis nice Billie Jean King known as this week for a mixed girls’s and males’s World Cup of tennis and for gamers to put on shirt numbers to continue to grow the game.

The 39-time Grand Slam winner, together with 12 singles titles, stated she would deliver the ladies’s Billy Jean King Cup and the lads’s Davis Cup collectively right into a World Cup.

Previously the Federation Cup, the finals of the competitors renamed in King’s honour takes place in Seville from November 7-12, whereas the Davis Cup finals are in Malaga between November 21-26, with each at present labelled the ‘World Cup’ of tennis.

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“I need us collectively, I all the time need the women and men collectively. I all the time need us to be collectively at tournaments,” King instructed a media name forward of the BJK Cup finals.

“Individuals prefer it after we’re all completely happy collectively.”

King stated the affect of soccer means it’s extra important than ever for tennis to have its personal recognisable World Cup.

“The World Cup has change into an increasing number of necessary due to the soccer … the entire world understands World Cup,” she continued.

“After I say we’re the World Cup of ladies’s tennis, they get it instantly, they realize it’s nation versus nation, it’s thrilling, it may be anyplace on the earth.

“(I went) right down to the World Cup in Australia and watched the ladies there, they’d 75,000 folks … it’s very thrilling, the chances are limitless.”

Many star names will likely be absent from the BJK Cup, together with the highest 4 ranked gamers, with Poland’s Iga Swiatek and American duo Coco Gauff and Jessica Pegula unable to play due to their packed schedule.

Aryna Sabalenka, the present world primary, isn’t concerned as a result of her nation Belarus was suspended from collaborating after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in 2022.

Schedule crush

Swiatek, Gauff, and Pegula will likely be on the WTA Finals in Mexico the week earlier than, with the ladies’s tennis organising physique choosing the venue in September regardless of understanding the BJK Cup can be in Seville.

“We’ve had our date for a very long time, I feel it is best to ask the WTA (about that),” stated King.

“(For) our sport, I feel all of us must get collectively and determine a greater calendar for the gamers.

“I care concerning the sport, I care concerning the World Cup, I would love us to sit down down and actually attempt to determine it out, so everyone wins.”

King, 79, stated tennis has to serve the followers first and one of many methods to try this can be to make gamers extra identifiable on courtroom.

“We’ve to consider the general public, our followers, how will we make it simple for them? In the event you go to Wimbledon they usually should put on all white, you don’t know who the gamers are,” she continued.

“I feel it’s ridiculous. They don’t have the title on the again of their shirts. I feel we must always have a quantity. Why ought to we’ve got a quantity? As a result of youngsters love numbers.

“That is about our viewers. This isn’t about us, we go play to make our viewers completely happy.

“Sadly, most gamers suppose the folks come to look at them play, however our job as an entertainer, as a performer, as a professional athlete—after we stroll on the courtroom, the viewers is every part.”



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