At today's Fed Cup by BNP Paribas Final, the International Tennis Hall of Fame (ITHF) and the International Tennis Federation (ITF) honored former French Fed Cup standout Nathalie Tauziat with the 2016 Fed Cup Award of Excellence. The award was presented on court during the 2016 Fed Cup by BNP Paribas World Group Final in Strasbourg, France, which is being contested between France and Czech Republic.
The award was presented by ITF President David Haggerty and former French Fed Cup team member and Hall of Fame tennis legend Françoise Dürr, who represented the International Tennis Hall of Fame. The ITF and the ITHF annually present the Fed Cup Award of Excellence to an individual who represents the ideals and spirit of the Fed Cup competition.
Tauziat has played more Fed Cup ties than any other French player, contesting 40 ties between 1985 and 2001. She also holds three other Fed Cup records for France, for most years played (16), most total wins (33-21 win-loss record) and most doubles wins (20-9 win-loss record). Tauziat was a key team member of the French team that claimed its first ever Fed Cup title in 1997, winning all her singles and doubles rubbers during the year.
“I am glad today to recognize Nathalie as a great competitor among the French women. She was a dedicated and successful player for our country for many years and she played an integral role in building France’s outstanding Fed Cup legacy. It’s wonderful to see our team back in the final again this weekend, and I’m glad we have this opportunity to recognize Nathalie as someone who inspired a quest for greatness in today’s competitors and fostered an appreciation for Fed Cup competition among the French women today,” commented Durr.
ITF President David Haggerty commented, “On behalf of the International Tennis Federation we are very pleased to celebrate Nathalie’s achievements and contributions to Fed Cup over the years. She was a highly committed competitor, she attained great success for her nation, and time and again she proved that she held the values of this competition dear. She is a deserving recipient of the Fed Cup Award of Excellence.”
Tauziat was one of France’s most successful players on the WTA tour, reaching a career high world ranking of No. 3 in both singles and doubles. She reached the 1998 Wimbledon final and won eight career singles titles and 25 doubles titles. She has remained active in the sport in coaching and mentoring current professionals.
Past recipients of the Fed Cup Award of Excellence have been Petra Pala, Czech Republic captain, in 2015; Helena Sukova of the Czech Republic in 2014; Corrado Barazzutti of Italy in 2013; Jana Novotna of the Czech Republic in 2012; Anastasia Myskina of Russia in 2011; Billie Jean King of the United States in 2010; Mary Joe Fernandez of the United States and Silvia Farina of Italy in 2009; Miguel Margets of Spain in 2008; Lea Pericoli of Italy in 2007; Sabine Appelmans of Belgium in 2006; Françoise "Frankie" Dürr of France in 2005; Olga Morozova of Russia in 2004; Larisa Savchenko of Latvia in 2003; Virginia Wade of Great Britain in 2002; and Spain's Arantxa Sanchez Vicario and Conchita Martinez in 2001.
Photos by Paul Zimmer.