The International Tennis Federation announced that Vera Zvonareva (RUS), Svetlana Kuznetsova (RUS), Petra Kvitova (CZE) and Barbora Zahlavova Strycova (CZE) have been shortlisted for the last Fed Cup by BNP Paribas Heart Award of 2011. All four players competed in the World Group semifinals in April and helped their nation reach the Final, which will see Russia and Czech Republic battle for the trophy at the Olympic Stadium in Moscow on 5-6 November.
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, running on 7-28 October, is being held on FedCup.com and FedCup.com/es to decide the winner, who will receive a cheque for $10,000 to be donated to her chosen charity. The winner will be announced in Moscow during the lead-up to the Final.
The Fed Cup by BNP Paribas Heart Award is a joint initiative between BNP Paribas and the ITF. It aims to recognize players who have represented their country with distinction, shown exceptional courage on court and demonstrated outstanding commitment to their team. A total of six Heart Awards are being presented in 2011. Earlier in the year, Andrea Petkovic (GER), Bojana Jovanovski (SRB), Bianca Botto (PER), Ayumi Morita (JPN) and Victoria Azarenka (BLR) were recognized.
ITF President Francesco Ricci Bitti said: â€œAll four players have played a key role in getting Russia and Czech Republic through to the Final, which is shaping up to be one of the closest for years. Their passion and commitment embodies the spirit of the competition, and I would like to congratulate all of them for being nominated for this Fed Cup by BNP Paribas Heart Award.â€