The ITF today announced a shortlist of ten players to receive the first four Fed Cup by BNP Paribas Heart Awards of 2012. Awards will be presented in four categories based on performances in the Fed Cup World Group and World Group II first round ties, and the three Zone Group I events at the beginning of February.
Christina McHale (USA), Daniela Hantuchova (SVK), Samantha Stosur (AUS) and Roberta Vinci (ITA) have all been shortlisted for the World Group/World Group II award. Sofia Arvidsson (SWE) and Elena Baltacha (GBR) have been shortlisted for Europe/Africa; Catalina Castano (COL) and Florencia Molinero (ARG) for Americas; and Li Na (CHN) and Galina Voskoboeva (KAZ) for Asia/Oceania.
to cast your vote for Christina McHale.
McHale dominated both her singles matches for her first career Fed Cup victories to help the U.S. defeat Belraus 5-0 in a World Group II First Round tie in Worcester, Mass. Feb. 5-6.
The shortlist has been compiled by the Heart Award judging panel consisting of ITF President Francesco Ricci Bitti and a mixture of former players and members of the media. Sabine Appelmans, a former Fed Cup player and captain for Belgium, has joined the judging panel in 2012. Appelmans replaces Arantxa Sanchez-Vicario who stepped down as a panel member after becoming the new Spanish captain.
A public vote is being held on FedCup.com
and FedCup.com/es to decide the winners, with voting running from 1-22 March. All four winners will receive a silver Baccarat bracelet and a cheque to be donated to their chosen charity.
ITF President Francesco Ricci Bitti said: "The Fed Cup by BNP Paribas Heart Award is entering its fourth year and continues to recognise the outstanding contributions made by players to their country and the competition. The start of the 2012 Fed Cup season produced some excellent ties and all the shortlisted players were integral to their team’s success. I encourage all tennis fans to visit the Fed Cup website and vote for who they think should win."
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 five players will be recognised in 2012.