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04 November 2011

Kvitova named Heart Award winner


Photo: Paul ZimmerHeart Award winner Petra Kvitova (CZE)

MOSCOW, RUSSIA: The ITF today announced that Petra Kvitova has won the last Fed Cup by BNP Paribas Heart Award of 2011 in recognition of her performance during Czech Republic’s semifinal victory against Belgium in April.

Kvitova, who remains unbeaten in this year’s Fed Cup campaign, has been the driving force behind Czech Republic’s march to the Final. The reigning Wimbledon champion is 4-0 in singles play for the season, including wins in the semifinals over Kirsten Flipkens 62 76(4) and Yanina Wickmayer 57 64 62 that set up a 3-2 away victory against Belgium.

She was presented with a cheque for US$10,000, which will be donated to her chosen charity of Help The Children, by ITF President Francesco Ricci Bitti and Deputy Chairman of the Board for BNP Paribas in Russia Jean-Francois Kochanski at the draw ceremony for the 2011 Fed Cup by BNP Paribas Final in Moscow.

Kvitova said: “For me it’s really nice, I’m glad that I won because the people voted for me. I didn’t expect to win. I’m really happy that I can give the money to our charity in the Czech Republic.”

Kvitova was shortlisted for the award alongside Vera Zvonareva (RUS), Svetlana Kuznetsova (RUS) and Barbora Zahlavova Strycova (CZE). All four players competed in the World Group semifinals in April and helped their nation reach the Final, which starts at the Olympic Stadium in Moscow tomorrow.

The players were shortlisted by the Heart Award judging panel, consisting of ITF President Francesco Ricci Bitti and a mixture of former players and members of the international media. A public vote, which ran from 7-28 October, was held on FedCup.com and FedCup.com/es to decide the winner.

A total of six Heart Awards have been presented in 2011. Kvitova follows in the footsteps of Andrea Petkovic (GER), Bojana Jovanovski (SRB), Bianca Botto (PER), Ayumi Morita (JPN) and Victoria Azarenka (BLR), who were honoured earlier this year.

ITF President Francesco Ricci Bitti said: “I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate Petra for her outstanding performance in 2011. She has played a key role in her team’s success this season and now has the opportunity to help Czech Republic to win the Fed Cup title. The level of passion and excitement for Fed Cup by BNP Paribas has grown considerably during the last year, and this is embodied in the commitment of players such as Petra.”

The Fed Cup by BNP Paribas Heart Award is a joint initiative between BNP Paribas and the ITF. It aims to recognise players who have represented their country with distinction, shown exceptional courage on court and demonstrated outstanding commitment to their team.

Petra Kvitova (CZE) - Heart Award

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