The Fed Cup is to be renamed the Billie Jean King Cup after the former tennis great and founder of the Women’s Tennis Association (WTA).
American King, 76, is one of the greatest female tennis players of all time and won 39 Grand Slam titles in singles and doubles competitions.
She is an advocate for gender equality and in 1973 won the Battle of the Sexes match against Bobby Riggs.
“It’s very exciting. I’m still not sure it’s true,” said King.
“Then my mind always turns to what I want to accomplish – let’s get going. It’s really an honour and I’m very grateful.
“I remember the first Federation Cup in 1963. I love history and I remember saying, ‘We have to make it this year, we have to win the very first one, it’s historical’. And [my team-mates] were like, ‘OK, OK, already’.
“And we did win and it was really special. When I see the Fed Cup trophy today I look at the first one and I think about us. I remember how excited I was.”
The Fed Cup is women’s tennis’ premier international team competition.
It was launched in 1963 and the United States are the most successful team in Fed Cup history having won the tournament 18 times.
King won seven Fed Cups as a player and four as the US team’s captain.