LONDON — The International Tennis Federation is seeking a new host city for the finals of the Billie Jean King Cup, formerly the Fed Cup, after Budapest backed out because of COVID-19 concerns.
The Hungarian capital was due to host the 12-nation tournament, but the event has twice been postponed because of the pandemic, and the country’s tennis association has informed the ITF that it won’t be able to host in 2021.
“After working together in good faith for the past year, we were surprised and disappointed to be informed that the HTA no longer considers it possible to hold the event in Budapest,” ITF president Dave Haggerty said.
The indoor tournament was originally scheduled in April 2020 but was initially delayed 12 months. In February, a decision was made to postpone the tournament again with the the goal of finding a new date later this year.
The ITF had been working with the Hungarian government and the HTA to explore “all feasible options” to reschedule this year’s finals.
“Given the timing, the ITF has been left with no other option than to end the hosting agreement with Hungary and explore an alternative solution,” Haggerty said.
“The ITF will do everything in its power — for the sport, the players, nations, and the fans — to ensure this landmark competition in tennis and women’s sports will be held as soon as it is reasonably practicable.”