Fed Cup by BNP Paribas

Fed Cup by BNP Paribas is the world's largest annual international team competition in women's sport with 102 nations entered in 2016.

The prestigious ITF event, which sits alongside Davis Cup by BNP Paribas in the men's game, gives players the chance to represent their country in an otherwise individual sport.

The competition was launched as the Federation Cup in 1963 to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the ITF. An American team led by Billie Jean King won the inaugural title at The Queen's Club in London, and the event has continued to attract the best players in the women's game.

Among the all-time greats to represent their nation are Margaret Court, Virginia Wade, Evonne Goolagong, Martina Navratilova, Chris Evert, Hana Mandlikova, Steffi Graf, Arantxa Sanchez Vicario, Lindsay Davenport, Monica Seles, Martina Hingis, Kim Clijsters, Justine Henin, Maria Sharapova, and Venus and Serena Williams.

The event title was shortened to Fed Cup in 1994 and the following year the format of the competition changed. The week-long finals were terminated in favour of a World Group and World Group II, and ties started being played on a home-and-away basis.

This system is still used today with eight nations contesting a World Group knock-out draw over three weekends during the year to decide who is crowned champion. The next eight nations compete in World Group II and the remaining nations are split into three regional Zones, with promotion and relegation up for grabs on an annual basis between all Groups.

BNP Paribas became Fed Cup's first Title Sponsor in 2005, mirroring the company's support of Davis Cup. The partnership started with a bang when France and Russia contested a classic Final in front of a packed Philippe Chatrier Court at Roland Garros. The other current partner is Adecco.

Czech Republic won its fourth title in five years when it defeated Russia 3-2 at the O2 Arena in Prague. The Czechs came back from 2-1 down on the final day with Karolina Pliskova and Barbora Strycova clinching the victory in a decisive doubles rubber.

With 17 Fed Cup titles to their name, USA are the most successful nation in the competition. Czech Republic is second with nine wins, Australia is third with seven, then Spain is fourth with five.

For more information about Fed Cup by BNP Paribas, including drawsheets, results, news and photos, visit the competition's official website.

- FedCup.com

2016 Dates

World Group first round 6-7 February

- Romania 2-3 Czech Republic, Cluj-Napoca
Germany 2-3 Switzerland, Leipzig
France 4-1 Italy, Marseille
Russia 1-3 Netherlands, Moscow

World Group II first round 6-7 February

- Slovakia 2-3 Australia, Bratislava
Canada 2-3 Belarus, Quebec City
USA 4-0 Poland, Kailua Kona
Serbia 0-4 Spain, Kraljevo

World Group semifinals 16-17 April

- Czech Republic 3-2 Switzerland, Lucerne 
- France 3-2 Netherlands, Trelaze

World Group play-offs 16-17 April

- Russia 2-3 Belarus, Moscow
- Spain 4-0 Italy, Lleida
- Romania 1-4 Germany, Cluj-Napoca
- Australia 0-4 USA, Brisbane

World Group II play-offs 16-17 April

- Serbia 2-3 Belgium, Belgrade 
- Slovakia 3-2 Canada, Bratislava 
- Poland 1-4 Chinese Taipei, Inowroclaw 
- Ukraine 4-0 Argentina, Kiev

World Group Final 12-13 November

- France v Czech Republic, Strasbourg

2015 Results

World Group first round 7-8 February

- Canada 0-4 Czech Republic, Quebec City
- Italy 2-3 France, Genoa
- Poland 0-4 Russia, Krakow
- Germany 4-1 Australia, Stuttgart

World Group II first round 7-8 February

- Netherlands 4-1 Slovakia, Apeldoorn
- Romania 3-2 Spain, Galati
- Sweden 1-3 Switzerland, Helsingborg
- Argentina 1-4 USA, Buenos Aires

World Group semifinals 18-19 April

- Czech Republic 3-1 France, Ostrava
- Russia 3-2 Germany, Sochi

World Group play-offs 18-19 April

- Italy 3-2 USA, Brindisi
Netherlands 4-1 Australia, 's-Hertogenbosch
Poland 2-3 Switzerland, Zielona Gora
Canada 2-3 Romania, Montreal

World Group II play-offs 18-19 April

Serbia 4-1 Paraguay, Novi Sad
Slovakia 4-0 Sweden, Bratislava
Japan 2-3 Belarus, Tokyo
Argentina 0-4 Spain, Buenos Aires

World Group Final 14-15 November

- Czech Republic 3-2 Russia, Prague